Bitter

So you’re in love and she isn’t anymore, and you lie alone in bed, trying not to think. She’s the best thing you ever had. Even as the thought occurs to you, you know how cliché that sounds… but there it is. She is creative, intelligent, passionate, capable of deep feeling, and honest. She doesn’t want to hurt you, she just can’t love you anymore, and is being honest. But you can’t help being hurt. You feel like a dog that’s just had it’s leg torn off, and stands there, utterly bewildered, blinking stupidly at the stump. Not yet even remotely comprehending how, or why. In a state of shock.
Unfortunately, you are not a dog. If you were, you might think: fucking bitch… she smells so good… oh well. You would go on with your life without worrying. But you are cursed with the ability to think, being a big-brained ape with nothing better to do. So you think of the promise you made. You never actually said „I promise“, but the promise was there, in your heart, clear and sweet like the air after a thunderstorm. She knew that, she saw it in your eyes, she felt it in your hands. She heard it and read it in the beautiful words you unfolded before her in a calm stream of love and certainty. That’s why she waited so long. Longer than she actually could… she counted on you, and you failed her. Circumstances prevented you, you say to yourself, and it’s true enough, but nevertheless you wonder what you could have done, what desperate measures might have led to salvation in spite of it all. You were already on the verge of doing something insane when she pulled the ripcord. You felt in your bones that things were getting ticklish. Circumstances! The word threatens to split your head.
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It’s bitter. So damned bitter. You’d rather kill yourself than taste that taste; but it would be tantamount to cowardice not to face the facts. She’d pity you then, and hate you for betraying her belief that you are a good person, strong, a man worth loving… no matter whether she loves you anymore or not. That would be worse than anything you can think of, for even now you still want to please her. It is better, in that case, to drink some more wine. But even drink doesn’t help in the least, much to your chagrin. You drink more, and more, and even then… what’s the point in drinking, when it doesn’t stop the pain?
So, what recourse do you have? Face up to the horrid truth: you’ve lost her. The one that got away, like some damned fisherman’s tale.
She never did you wrong. If she had, you could at least indulge your mind in thoughts of morbid revenge, or in the belief that she isn’t good enough for you. Not even this avenue of emotional escape is open to you, and you begin to wonder if you can ever even stop loving her. You’d cry if you had any tears left. You contemplate the stump. Blinking. Stupid.
Listening to Don’t Bother Me from the Beatles.

Alone

The person you love is far away, and you feel like you just can’t live without them. You’re stuck in limbo, you’re somewhere in between. You’re not alone any more, but that just makes you more alone than ever. If you were truly alone, you’d have no worries… if everything goes wrong, it’s just you, no big deal. Though it would be tough, one could accept it with a certain philosophical detachment, like a gentleman fighting his bitter fate. But now there is someone else, someone who cares, someone who will suffer when you suffer. You just can’t stand the thought of them suffering, so you have to make sure you don’t suffer… you have to take care of yourself.
You have to. You love this person more than anything you can think of. It’s better than religion, better than drugs, it’s the ultimate thing. There is, quite simply, nothing else you really care about.
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Certain conflicts arise. You feel lonely, so you want to drink. But drinking is bad for you, you know that, it’s fucking poison when you drink enough to conquer that gap… the problem is, eating a healthy salad does nothing for your state of mind. A big glass of vodka can help, verily, poison though it may be. And old habits die hard.
When my girl is with me, I don’t need a damned thing.
Listening to I Want You (She’s So Heavy) from the Beatles.

Hell

Being in love is hell. You thought you were suffering when you had nobody to love… just wait ’til there’s someone who you care about. Sure, you’re happy, because someone loves you, someone you love, but… you wonder. It is the fate of mankind to think. It’s our curse: a big bloody brain.
Thinking means wondering. Wondering whether she loves you as much as you love her. Wondering how you are going to make it all work. Wondering. Thinking about fucking logistics. Like: she lives in another damned town, 150 bloody fucking miles away. Driving there, you wonder about the cost of the damned gasoline. You become a mathematician… how often can I afford to see her? And then: am I crazy? How can I think of money, when I need to see her, every possible minute?
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Holy shit. It’s enough to make you drink. But you can’t really enjoy drinking anymore, because you have someone who cares for you, meaning you should take care of yourself, meaning… you should eat healthy stuff, exercise, and not spend so much money on rum. No rum. After all, you don’t, oh Christ, want to disappoint her. On the other hand, she seems to know you better than you know yourself…
Oh, dear. Oh, oh, dear.
It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to dance in your socks. You need that sliding movement. You need to skid along the floor, like a damned ice skater. That’s the only thing that suits the feeling, the feeling… whooh! Crazy! Everything is possible. You’re a hawk, swooping down at three hundred miles an hour. You’re going to kill, you’re going to conquer. Nothin’ gonna stop you. Except maybe the rum, and 150 miles.
Yep.

Bloquistador

What did the Conquistadors drink? I mean, they probably ran out of wine on the cruise over, don’t you think?
Listening to Toiler on the Sea from The Stranglers, incidentally.
Did they drink water? Oh, my God.
I am reminded of W.C. Fields. I haven’t the slightest idea any more which film that was, but in essence he describes, horrified at the experience, the crossing of a desert: „Nothing to drink! Nothing but food and water for weeks!“
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I am, at this very moment, drinking grog, as it was known to the British sailors of yore. A simple mixture of rum, lemon juice, and water. Alright, I admit it, I put two ice cubes in it, and so it is probably more refreshing than the British tar knew it, back in the day. Ice was, back then, an absolute luxury. But even then, without ice, it must have been quite good. You can put in as much water as pleases you, so it becomes a very light drink if you like it that way. I happen to like it that way at the moment, since I have to get up early tomorrow. Work. The nemesis of our everyday lives. On the other hand, if I didn’t have work, I’d be starving, and if I was starving I’d have to go find food, which would be, you guessed it, work.
Of course, then the results of my work would be immediately recognizable: berries, roots, grubs… can you imagine eating grubs? Do you even know what grubs are? Pupating insects, my friend. Squirming, wormlike things, quite large, if you are lucky. Very healthy, I have heard, if you can get them down. Read Tarzan, he ate grubs raw, and liked it, b’gad.
But the Tarzan we know from films and countless cartoons and god-knows-what-all is not the Tarzan as he was originally conceived. The „real“ Tarzan was an intelligent fellow, though he found grubs toothsome, not just a great warrior. He was not „Me Tarzan, you Jane.“ He knew six different languages, including that of the apes. He spoke fluent French, one of the most beautiful languages on this bloody world, and he was a gentleman in the most holy meaning of the word. The only thing he was not, was a poet. No poet warrior, I am afraid. He could have been though, if he hadn’t been so disgusted with humans and their so named civilization.
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And he was right in that: being disgusted with human beings. A disgusting and hypocritical lot we are, generally speaking.
There is such a huge difference between what human beings say and what they do… such huge lies… that I have to hiccup and take another big swig of grog. I might even have to make myself a new grog, although I have to work tomorrow. But in spite of our horridness we do manage, occasionally, a nice thing or two. Out of our horridness grows a sort of beauty, when we manage to transcend ourselves.
There are three kinds of human beauty (oh hell, there are probably a whole bunch of kinds, but these are the ones I can think of just now).
The one is engendered by love of detail, love of patterns, love of nature: we see what nature offers, the immutable, infinite repetitions of nature. Physics, mathematics, they are often reflected in art and the artful crafts, and though they are far beyond my feeble intellectual powers, I have the feeling that the higher planes of physics and mathematics are more like art than science.
The second is the beauty of destruction. The barren beauty of death. Human beings understand that very well, though they can never reach beyond the barrier of death. Human beings can revel in devastation, in the stark silhouette of a spray of blood. They see the beauty inherent in such things. They know, though they often don’t admit it, that death engenders life.
The other is, in a sense, more transcendent. It is the sense of beauty which can not be explained. Beauty we do not understand, though we feel it: Love. We feel love, but we can never understand it. We see a man, or a woman, or we talk to them, or both, and we love. We don’t know why. We can try to explain it: the way they moved, the eyes, the incredible fragrance, what they said, something so full of wit and intelligence, or just the sound of their voice, something… but we will never really understand what it is. We just know that we are in love, and that is the greatest beauty of all. It’s a beauty we feel.