“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
Is it so strange that someone should have loved me once? Should have wanted to marry me? Have children with me?
He was copper honey and safety like I’ve never known. And he loved every fiber of me. He took each breath and gave it back to me, cleansed and blessed for me to breathe again.
He threw back his head when he laughed—big, full-bodied laughs like mine. He eyes sparkled with delight. And they would darken in the candlelight as he took me into his heart.
We talked about money, about guns, about children, about sex. He was unscarred by previous relationships so I had him to myself, a virgin in affairs of the heart. When I played mind games he would stop me in my tracks simply by asking why I was hurting him.
No one suspected the depth of his passion, not even he. And there was tenderness, too—a soul I could entrust my fragile self to. And there were the quiet times sitting and staring out the window or when he worked on his drawings while I read in bed. Or when he would sit on the edge of the bed in the mornings (“I take my mornings slow”) and I would curl around him in companionable silence.
Boredom was there, too, and the tedium of a long-distance relationship. The pressures of balancing all our varied commitments. The ever-present question of when he would move here. “Not this year.” How my heart broke.
The train wreck. The decision to love him fiercely anyway, to love my self with abandon, to ride this tidal wave of love wherever it took me. Knowing only that I was terrified and brave and desirous of every thing he wanted for me. I rode that wave to a freedom I hadn’t imagined, transformed and transfigured by love.
“Break apart,” he said, not “break up.” Wise words. I almost died in the process, was reborn in a shamanic rebirthing. Only to lose it all when someone else came along who was harder, edgier—more used to cutting than smoothing. But even that love wanted me.
I don’t dwell on him anymore. Not for a long time. I’ve lived so many lifetimes since then. But we’ve never seen each other, never spoken, since he walked out that door. And I’ve never forgotten what it meant to be loved.
At times I am overwhelmed by the memories and the knowledge of what once was and what could have been. How much I wanted it then. How much I long for it now.
Moulin Rouge is the language of that life. Every moment of intensity. The color, the sounds, the goofiness and the drama. The reckless abandon. To love, fully and completely and wildly—to go wherever it leads—I remember that. I remember the cooling and deepening of the initial hot-gold-rush into something mellower and stronger and yet still fired, always fired by passion. There is no doubt; life is grey now.
Others found it silly. I found it profound. An expression of some of my greatest desires.
Truth. Beauty. Freedom. Love.