25 October 2001
How I love. Oh, how I love you. And how I have loved you, from so far.
And how you'll love me, how water will turn to wine for us, how the air will shine for us, how dark will turn into light for us. How these words, this spell will pull us to each other; the magic my words weave shall bond you to me: a heart opens -- souls mix -- lips press. With these words. With these words.
But first I'll say again how we met.
No light, low down on the floor, close by the TV: we saw the world shift that night. When the first tower came down a spasm went over the Earth and we had to face as one an all-too-other new dawn. The seven of us there came close in to bathe in the blue glow that had meant not true but now it had an ugly tinge of truth, of death, and in a burst the room was cold, and we shook, and it was the brush of you past me I felt as we moved in - arm on bare arm - gave me an odd heat in my chest - so that I felt young, alone but at the same time warm - the tiny bumps on your upper arm, soft hairs stuck up, the touch of your flesh - like old was new - we knew as much as when we were born - babes - the touch of you - the sense of you - and the awful truth of that night - and we fell into each other, and we held each other, cheek to cheek, eyes wide, your tears on my face - as the world fell down.
And that was that. Later, weeks later, I tried to be as close to you again, only to find that wasn't what you had in mind from me. I took you for a drink, I tried to help you have fun. I asked you about what you liked to do, about what you did in your spare time, about your dog. There wasn't a thing I said that wasn't just right, just so.
But: "This isn't what I liked about you," you said, "This isn't what I meant. This isn't the you from the other night."
"Don't you know about games? You don't know?" you said, and like you said, I hadn't a clue what you meant.
So you told me about the two types of games.
First, think about Ludo. (Well, I tried, but all I could think about was the glow of the light on you, a slim line down your side; the idea of my hand down that line, a soft touch along that curve, your full hips, your long legs.) First, think about Ludo. (Again, and that time I did hear since I saw your lips with my eyes, and a touch of them in my head. So, I hung there on from your every word.)
Ludo is a game of rules. And how ever many of you there are that play -- it's only you that plays, in the end. You all play in the rules. That's what it's about. How else could you? So, you play the rules, and you play the rules as acted by every other who plays. It's only you, and those rules. And since you want to obey the rules, it's just you. You want to win? You win. You want to lose? You lose. Some rules. Some game.
But life's not like that, you can't be a loner.
Think about the other sort of game, you said. The kind you used to play as a kid. What's The Time Mr Wolf. Stuck in the Mud. Tag. Where were the ends? At what point did you win?
There wasn't one. The game would carry on and on, you and so many other kids. Talk, run, fight. Break trust, be brave, make deals. There was no win state, there was just the game, a game of life, a game to learn to live. Child to child. Human. Real.
And that's what it was like the other night (you went on, in the bar). It wasn't like I was going out with you so you could buy me a drink or two, be nice to me, work your way into my heart, make me like you. Those are your rules, your Win State, not mine.
That night, when we held each other, when I put my head in your lap and felt the touch of your hand in my hair, as we both saw the world alter that time -- that wasn't a game. There was no story. No match. No rules in the Real World. We fell into each other, like it was fated to be. That's what it has to be like. You can't try to win me. This isn't Ludo.
And you left it there. And we went home. Apart.
I had a lot to think about that night. I found it hard to see what you meant. Ludo? Games? I didn't quite get what you said. Did you mean that I had to chase you, catch you, like kids? Or - and then it all fell into place - that I was not to play by the rules! I must not be the same!
If only there was some way I could prove what I felt to you. If only there was some way I could pour out my love for you, but at the same time show that it wasn't a usual kind of love, but one that would twist and turn under any weird sort of order for you. But what kind of twist could it be, so you'd see?
And then I knew...
Now here I am, and here we are. I asked you to come round to talk, and it's dark now, and we sit, close as we talk, my leg round your back, your hand on my thigh, and my voice has taken us these last few hours: until now, open with each other; then you talk quiet in my ear; then your mouth a light brush on mine, I feel you warm on my face, the soft of your chest push on me as we hug - fold into each other, wide eye to wide eye, rapt, quick heart, your touch darts along the back of my neck, our very souls as hard to pick apart as smoke so close are we. Your kiss-- your kiss is life, is my life, is the two of us alive and whole at long last. And as we curl into a point mark, a small round mark on the floor, as we hold the other as tight and hard as we can, a ball of sense and touch and gasps at what new magic we find; I open up once and for all and I say what rule it is I obey for you, what vault I have made, what mad rod I have been under to make you love me.
And so, now, you'll see, I'll say, for you, as a gift:
I've made all the words in my whole piece have five letters or fewer. Five. Or fewer. Letters.
Oh. Oh, fuck.
(You pull away, look at me not sure at what I've said, shake your head, stand up, and walk off into the dark room. "You just don't get it, do you?" you say, "You just don't get it at all." I stare into my hands. In shock. But I didn't hear you. Hadn't heard you. I don't hear you now. And I don't see you go out. I just. Can't. Quite. Grasp. It.)
And after all that.