There are those relationships whose influence lasts long after they are over and often for longer than they were alive. Intensity, unfathomable joy, bright starbursts, out-of-control fireworks, terrible pain. Remnants that are still sharp if I pay attention. The tail of the comet is often brighter than the flare of its reality.
He wrote. Words about me. Always his words: strange, and powerful, skirting around the edges of his wild imagination, some truth at their core. He used to tell me about the quality of light where he was. The pleasure I got from his word pictures was far beyond what was on the page, they warmed me from the inside, their intensity sometimes made me feel sick with want.
He would throw them at me, dense and amazing and full of his madness and depth, and I would see him in it. Really SEE him. And his delight every time I did was a revelation. He told me, in that grand manner that boys in love do, that every word he had ever written was for me. He just didn’t know it yet. And that every word he wrote while we were together was for me. All of it was mine.
That is distant now, of course: he will have written more and lots and put his new heart into it all. I wonder what the result will be. I am restless, too eager, and so very curious to see if the capital M Mark I made on him has survived, has been immortalised, lives on in him in the same way it does in me.
I will wait for his newest book, which the internet tells me will be out soon. I will look out for it, buy it immediately, I will scour it. I will believe that every word is for me, still. Even if I don’t really believe it.
But if I see myself clearly in it, I mean for real, and not just in my own imaginings, I will recognise it in an instant. And I know it will still break my heart and I will love it and I will want to send him a note that says ‘I see you, boy’ and I suspect I will cry.
Because I am like that over these boys who leave footprints on my heart.