Except we never have sex. And we never fall in love. We fall into almost love and then life takes us away from each other. And without that memory of skin against skin to connect us across distance and time, we become, once again, strangers. (Edit: Link to the essay.)
The chord that is struck in me by this passage is all too real. It is a gasp, a sharp intake of breath, a sudden sense of panic accompanied by the thought that flashed in my mind: I don't want him to become a stranger. At least I fought off the three-second impulse to send him that, along with a too-emotional appeal to him to sustain whatever it was that we had back in Singapore.
I would preface what I'm about to say with "at the risk of over analysing", but that's what I do and so I shall drop the pretence of attempting to do otherwise. The truth is, while I don't think that I'm without friends here, I am already feeling something rather bleak about working all day long and through the weekend and not having anything exciting to look forward to at the end of it. By "exciting" I don't mean a night of drinking and making boring small talk with people that I probably won't ever talk to after the night is over. By "exciting" I mean going on a date with someone that you want to see, someone with whom you share a genuine connection, someone who excites you, the only person that you really want to go out with. Perhaps my lack of such a person in Cambridge is causing my latent longing for him to be intensified. Perhaps, too, this is a classic case of wanting what you can't have, and if I have it - him - reality may pale in comparison to the image of him that I have in my mind.
Perhaps that is all true. But what is actually true is that when I yearn for that something exciting at the end of a frustrating and tiring day in the library, it is not just anyone that I have in mind. It is a specific person. It is inexplicable, the continued hold that he has on my heart. I am frustrated and infuriated by my persisting feelings for him because they are presently futile, and they hold me back because I am missing someone who is on another continent.
I suppose if I were to be really precise about the situation, I would say that I entered a zone in which I was more than capable of falling in love with him. Perhaps he was right when he said that I couldn't say that I was in love with him after a month. But my feelings aren't precise, are they? They are not logical propositions to be broken down to their individual components. They cannot be proved or disproved by a mathematical equation or a theory. I can make a statement regarding my belief about my feelings, but it can never be precise; it can never capture what I really feel. All I am capable of doing is to use language to approximate and aggregate the sensations that I experienced when I was with him - the excitement, the intensity of emotions, the deep affection, the sheer joy - and fall back on a familiar phrase - "in love" - because it felt like what I felt before. Language is everything, he was fond of saying. Can it really be everything if it is inadequate?
My feelings are nebulous, imprecise, and they have more in common structurally with cotton-like white clouds in a clear day than constant rain pouring from the sky with insistent uniformity and regularity. That, to me, is the biggest problem - that I have not found a way to break down my feelings so that they are logical and therefore capable of being dismissed (or disproved, as the case may be). They keep haunting me with their amorphous presence in my consciousness, thereby creating pangs of longing, which then produce melancholy due to unfulfilled desires and wants.
There may very well be something romantic about the bittersweet. I, however, prefer reality, gratification, slowly descending into a numb sort of comfortable boredom with the person that I want. I don't want this inchoate longing and wanting and wishing. I want him in the flesh, I want him as something concrete; or I don't want it at all. I keep coming back to the same position, perhaps because it is the only true position that I can hold. I don't know. I am tired - physically and mentally and emotionally. I miss him more than I should, I think about him too much, and I want him all the time. I try to detach myself from the situation and distract myself but on nights like this, when I read something that speaks to me as though I'd written it myself, I cannot help but indulge in my feelings.
This has to stop at some point, though. I will keep hanging on for a few months more; see what happens in Singapore. It's just that...he is so far away.