Every person I know that is interesting has some kind of figure in their past, a love that went wrong for any combination of reasons both internal or external. I'm always fascinated by these types of stories. Who you loved and lost or gave up is like a core sample of a tree. It shows the years, the growth, and the distance from the surface.
My version of that is a girl that lives in Europe. Anyone that knows me has heard me blab about it. I met her at my own going away party when I was leaving Denmark for good. After coming back home, I flew to NYC to hang out with her. We fell in love and just wandered the city drunk on it. When she left, she wrote lyrics to a Leonard Cohen song on a note and snuck it into my book bag. I cried when I read it.
The context was that I was coming back to life after losing everything that made me feel certain. My marriage, my religion, my brother Bradley. All gone in 1 year. I felt like I died and was reborn as a new person that even I didn't know yet. It was terrifying and also endlessly interesting. I finally had the freedom to chose what was me and what was programming.
Meeting her made a big impact because I think she was kind of an emotional futurist. She saw me 5 years down the road. And at the time when I was living in my mom's house starting a business from zero because my dream college rejected my student loan application. Her faith in me was disproportionate to what I felt I was at the time and it was the antibiotics I needed at the time to be great.
We broke up because I think in some way I was afraid of disappointing her. She wanted me to come back overseas and live with her and start again. I was so afraid of becoming her loser couch boyfriend. She was so connected, she was a great and respected artist herself, I didn't want to become the guy she became slowly and painfully less attracted to. It was a pivotal decision for me. I hurt her with it, and I hurt myself, and I also think it was right.
She was and is very understanding, and her take was that I needed to be rewarded for the confidence I had built up since where I started.
Somewhere, impressing her became my mandate. Impressing is the wrong word. Making something worthy of her faith in me. I know that sounds unhealthy, but it worked like a fucking charm. There was some kind of nuclear energy that got into me from it. I think being loved does that. It makes us brave.
I never forgot her. And the last time I was over there I went to see her. I was simultaneously afraid and hoping that she had changed. That she was colder, or distracted, less engaging or not as attractive to me. I was sorely disappointed. I walked into her apartment and I had the uncanny feeling that I had walked into the mental image of her that i had held in my head for three years.
As we talked, I learned that she had suffered a big break up. The guy she met after me and her had just ended things and she was a raw nerve. I felt bad for piling on, and I was also delighted to see her.
We kept talking after i went home, and I told her how I felt. Honest to a fault, she told me that the way I feel towards her was how she felt towards her most recent ex. It was hard to hear and also so honest that it commanded its own respect.
She told me about a song written by a Danish songwriter named Anne Linnet. The song is called De Evige Tre which means the eternal three.
The first verse says:
"there are two men in the world. That constantly cross my path. The one is the one I love, and the other is the one that loves me" (its prettier in Danish).
And the chorus just simply says the eternal three.
I hate and love that. We are all someone's dead ideal. The thing that joy would have sprung from. The righted wrongs and the perfect fit. And maybe not all but most of us have this ghost love. This person that was good or evil to us that made us love them and we carry them with us long past the expiration.
Recently I looked up the lyrics to the song and I was surprised by something. The last verse has a really beautiful line that I had never heard.
It says something to the effect of "once in 100 years the two (the one you love and the one that loves you) can melt into 1 person.
Thats a very low probability, but it is still a probability. I like that.
I'm not looking for love, I have found it at times but I'm not looking. I think my experience has made me emotionally available but impossible to bond to. I'm not afraid of commitment, I know exactly what it looks and feels like. I'm not afraid of vulnerability, I know that too. I think part of myself is still waiting.