A Love That Will Never Die
Dear Love That Will Never Die,
Think about it: You fell in love and it was the most glorious and exciting thing you had ever felt.
Then your parents moved you away and there was nothing you could do about it. Nothing.
Think about it as though it were happening now: They don’t hear you or they don’t know what you’re feeling; they don’t take steps to reassure you or recognize your first true love; they don’t arrange for you to be able to visit. They don’t give you a forum in which you can talk about how much you love this girl. There is no structure that lets you work it out. Or maybe they do offer to talk about it but no way in hell you are going to talk about this with your parents or with a school guidance counselor or minister or anyone, not even your friends. You are crushed and don’t know how to deal with it.
You say things to yourself to make it better or to make sense of it but it still stays like a lump in your heart.
So you drink and do things to make it go away but it doesn’t go away. Maybe you blame people for it. Maybe you blame your parents or her parents or her, or life, or society, or God or fate. But it never goes away. It fades like a worn nickel but it never goes away.
So you tell a story about what happened. The story takes the form of a romance that was never consummated.
We men often tell the story of unresolved loss in the form of a grand adventure that was never completed. We wonder, wistfully, if we could ever go back and complete the journey. We feel a nagging dissatisfaction with things as they are.
We think about maybe moving to Tahiti. But it’s not about maybe moving to Tahiti. It’s about facing what we lost. We’re holding grief at bay. We’re holding anger at bay. Then one day we realize we have been telling ourselves the same sorry story for 40 years. We’re on the fringes of recalling the original loss. But we don’t go there. We stay on the fringes.
Why are we doing that