All of this comes from a bad place. Maybe one day I'll look back at what I've written and feel ashamed or embarrassed at the bile and vitriol. But for now, this is what it is.
Yesterday afternoon I received an email from The Photographer saying he'd decided to stay with his current partner. A couple of lines, no more, including a refusal to offer explanaitions and a total absence of feeling. An automated response. A coward's response as well, to put into brusque prose and fire across the expanse of the internet, knowing I was at work and would not find it until later - dividing the act and the response by both time and space - keeping me and my "difficult" feelings, my "demanding" attitude at arm's length. Sparing his feelings by scarificing mine. In that sense, the medium was perfect for the message.
Needless to say, I called him. Hissing and spitting with rage, then morose and despondant as he refused to engage. It did no good in the sense that it changed nothing, much less his mind. I upset him. I upset myself. As final words go, they were pretty poor and badly chosen. But that's what happens when you get fucked up, and for all my displayed lack of optimism in him reaching a good decision, I still had hope that he might. But not any more. I'm here, at arm's length. It's over. The waiting is over and the relationship is over. Whatever it was, whatever we were, is done.
I'm an appallingly confused mix of emotions. Memories of feelings I had, current sensations, the sly suggestion of responses I think I should be having but am not. I am, by turns, angry, thwarted, lonely, relieved, miserable, furious and calm. Round and round they go. I can't really describe it, so I'm going to take an unusual step and go into metaphor. It's an image I have very strongly in my head - I'm not sure whether it's because it's easier for me to describe how I'm feeling this way or because the effect of what has happened is so strong that I've become somewhat lightheaded and am currently living few degrees askew of the world therefore tending towards the poetic. Either way, it's where I am. What's in my mind. So here goes.
I'm sat at a dining room table, which is long and black. No-one else is there. The room goes on forever with just a plain floor and walls. No doors. My feet don't quite reach the ground, like a child. I'm wearing nothing but a white dress of some description which might be a man's shirt, might be a hospital gown, might even be a table cloth. There's a hole in the centre of it, through my chest. It's a big hole, you could put a fist through it easily and out through my back. Ribs are visible, blood, flesh and viscera. Some blood drips through the gaps, but not much. I'm still breathing, which surprises me. I'm looking down at my hands. In my right is my heart. It is in a very sorry state - bits of it are torn, there are cuts all over it. It's still attached to me, the arteries and veins run from my heart back into the hole in my chest. I can feel it, warm and soft, pulsing slightly. It is jammed with thorns, nails and hooks, metal and rusting. With my left hand I am pulling out the pieces of metal and placing them on a white china saucer in front of me. I can hear the "clink" sound as they hit the porcelain. None of them come out easily. Each one means something important to me, and the fact that they hurt me does not stop me wanting them. But I take them out anyway, twisting at the flesh as I do so in order to free them, like extracting the stone from a peach, fibres still clinging.
They go on the plate. One by one. They are not quite memories. Not quite feelings. Not quite connections. Not quite hopes. They are all of those things. They are also nails in my heart. And I know that it will hurt to pull them out but I know that if they don't come out they will fester and my heart will be poisoned and never heal. So here I am. Pulling pieces out of my heart.