Imagine standing in front of one of Monet’s finest works, and having nobody with whom to share his palette. What would art even matter to the last person on earth? What might become of great literature?
Imagine, perhaps, that you’re on a train. It slows down just as you pass an overgrown field (or perhaps it passes you), a field filled with a gallopful of the most beautiful wild horses, and your instinct would have you share the moment. But you can’t – there’s no-one next to you; it’s this very nobodyness that quietens and hushes. It’s the same void, the same plethora of forgottenness that has always shushed you, a track upon which your soulless self has drifted eternal, without love, without art, and without the possibility of ever daring hope for hope.
My own existence was, until recently, a painful case in point, having become so excruciating that even futility itself was futile; there was no longer a point to pointlessness. Everybody dies in the end, right? So, what was anything for? What had my thoughts been about? Nothing mattered, least of all me.
I hadn’t worn matching underwear in years. Nobody to see it. I ate poorly, dressed badly, and I only ever slept in my waking moments. Dreams were something I dared not contemplate; desires and wants and must-haves habitually brushed themselves under the rug of my existence. What did my happiness matter in any case? Who was I to dare dream that one day, I might find bliss? So, I didn’t. I stopped dreaming, and wrote instead. And each day, before I wrote, I would throw all of my clothes up into the air. Whichever items landed upon me in unusual ablution – whatever stuck – would be my outfit for the day.
I’d written no true poetry, though; only the utterly fantastic kind, where an invented man had written himself, time and again, into verse. I had scars whose origin I couldn’t recall, but my perception of perfection seemed to soothe the sores as long as it resided in me. And whilst it did, I kept life and love at bay. Didn’t need real people. Didn’t want them.
From an everywhere place, there came a heretofore unspoken and quieted form….where the allness of everything that ever went before and would come after, was happening now.
It started with that feeling of foreverness that sweeps over you when you meet INCREDIBLE. Call it love, like, lust, call it other-halfness, call it what you will. However you label it or don’t, it’s often mistaken as an exciting sense of newness when in fact, it’s familiarity. Think about it: you’re due to be with this person from now until you die. You’ll be theirs, they’ll be yours, for fifty, sixty years. All of those years are ahead of you – and you’re feeling them now. A concentration of an inevitable future; an ex post facto law of the universe, or a prophetic retroactive. Everything’s twisted, but that’s how you finally get to go straight.
You get to go true.
You get to go happy.
You get to go real.
And despite my usual, somewhat contrary ramblings via song or prose, I never had a type. There is only one of him. HE is my type. Precisely, perfectly, he.
And with fifty, sixty years of having his eyes behind mine, sharing our one mind and savouring it as we went, we wouldn’t simply share art. We would look behind the canvas and underneath the paint, right through all media whose disguises would prove invisible in the end.
In books, we wouldn’t read writing, but writers. In music, we’d hear and feel musicians.
And in life, we wouldn’t just share Waterlily moments. We would share Monet himself.