One day I was so sad that it started to rain. And as much as I could will it, it would not stop.
Months passed, as they often do when you grow old and drink wine. And I spent so long with in a haze; recounting a thousand conversations I remembered so vividly having, that had never happened. And, as it often happens when you grow old, one day I finally woke without him as the first thought in my mind.
I removed all the clutter, all the traces of his being from my life and painted our room white. So I could start afresh. I thought the mess would leave a hole in my life. But all it left was space.
Happiness is not all encompassing and all consuming but rather it is a steady ebb and flow of warmth through your body. It does not shout, nor attempt to tear you down. It has not the need to hide in the cracks of your inner crevices waiting for the right moment to crawl out of the woodwork. It just flows freely and unashamedly.
Happiness is like a thick and heavy summer afternoon in August in London. The kind of heat that keeps us hopeful with its promises of long days and exciting adventures. That’s the best kind of happiness because, like summer in London often is, it is broken up with spells of showers that are delicate reminders of a certain balance to the universe. But where depression grounds you, happiness let’s your soul flow freely.
It’s easy to say “I’m happy”, far easier than to admit that you are sad, or depressed. For happiness is often seen as finite. That showers will come, like they always do and break through that residue of happiness. We do not see happiness as a state of mind but a temporary paralysis, albeit a pleasant one. After all, if we all wake up to a conveyor belt of trials and tribulations, how can we think of ourselves as… truly happy?
And yet, I remain hopeful, and happy. Because after grief and sadness tear me down, there is always hope, there is always a glimmer of happiness, however small. That ebb and flow.
Conquer yourself, rather than the world.
The days were thick and heavy and August ran through our hearts like a bull in a china shop. The heat always did something to us, kept us hopeful enough with its long days and exciting promises, but at the same time, filled us with a depression at the thought that our adventures would soon evaporate and we would go back to reciting a dismal elegy about everyday life. Summer has always held the promise of adventure and a time to create such exploits that would burn in our minds forever. And yet more often than not, come September, I would find myself filled with a new sense of loathing that my summer adventures were never quite as golden as they had once seemed to be.
This year a dense haze had settled over London and our lives and we filled our days with the vacuous and banal activities of the youth of London; drinking, fucking and going to pop-up restaurants and I wondered to myself whether these were supposed to be the golden years, and if so, whether I had rotted them away with such clichéd escapades.
Five years ago I had fallen in love with a man whose skin was soft to the touch and who wore an intoxicating scent of marjoram in the summer that reminded me of Mexico and days spent in Valencia. We had enjoyed a whirlwind romance that gripped our souls like a fatal ague; toxicity entered our bodies and clutched onto us and would not let us go. We were absolutely desperate to disconnect ourselves from reality, to disengage and disappear and fall into each other’s selves. Such is the fatality of young love.
Over the years as we tore each other apart, I began to live for the respite of slumber, for in those precious few moments before I collapsed into a deep state of unconsciousness, I got to be with him again. My lucid state would lull me into his arms and an effortless smile would supplant itself upon my lips as I curled up into him; tracing my fingertips along the far too familiar curve of his back to his shoulders and arms that gripped me tight throughout the night until morning came once again. And with it the cold and grim reality, it was all but a dream.
It was a Thursday when we found our way to the South Bank, sat underneath the watchful gaze of the London Eye and basked in each other’s glow and decided to say goodbye. And like no time had passed, five years had come and gone and we were here in the same place we had been all those years ago, dreaming up the same stories we had before. The thing is, we kept dreaming and dreaming of this life together. Then one day we woke up and had dreamt our whole lives away. We had grown up and grown apart and even the thick stench of love in the air couldn’t bring us back together.