The events described in this post happened a long time ago. Too long for me to remember them as vividly as I do, but that's me now isn't it?
My life doesn't go as planned. When I was in high school, I became enamored of a woman. I used that as a spring board to verses: high verses. Epics, cantos, quatrains I wrote to what I called love. I didn't even know the meaning of the word. For too many years, I held on to that idea and never let it go. I almost gave up on the idea of love for me to the near-monastic nature of my poetry. Everything seemed set, and I thought I had something real in my poetry to show for it. Every line traced into every other line; I wrote and I wrote beautifully. It takes a long time to get someone so down that good poetry comes of it. Even Mr. Keats struggled with his Fanny Brawne poems in the beginning. I wrote in that tradition. I aspired to Petrarch and his punning with Laura. In Italian, that name shares a sound with the wind and gold. The name of my object of near worship didn't have a pun, but it was surrounded with sunrises, fire, milk, and bright blue like the ocean I'd never seen.
Then everything changed. Someone I've known for quite a while and I got together. The feeling of love that I had was not equal to my poems' aspirations, it even surpassed them. How stupid am I? I didn't consider that putting someone in here with me could hurt, but it did. I can't stand it alone in here, why would putting someone else there make for happiness? The thought never crossed my mind that I was no more able to love than the lonely Petrarch I so long imitated. He and I shared our first love's motivation to write. With our firsts, it was almost totally without lust. Petrarch and I were in a lonely fraternity of poets and artists who let the art get ahead of everything else. We both wrote to the exclusion of life in general.
For a while I wrote her badly. It takes time and practice even for the most important things to get the poetry to work. Near the end, I developed a way to write her beautifully, but like I said, it was near the end. It turned out that she never loved me. I fell hard for her. For years, I'd given up on love for me. I thought it would never visit upon me, and I would be alone. I would be alone with my poems to someone I invented that never resembled the person I wrote for and to. While everything changed, I developed a taste for her and a taste for love. Not the kind of lustless love Petrarch and I came so close to perfecting, but real love. Love with human features and contact ruled my imagination. I couldn't go on without thinking contact is essential for love. I loved holding her, kissing her, embracing and caressing her. Every ounce of my being said "Yes!" from every corner of my writing to every spire of my dreams. Those were my dreams, and my being. She never wanted to be with me for me, or for any other reason I can see.
Now that I have a taste of it, I can't let it go. I go from dream to nightmare to hallucination to poetry to prose to this blog and everywhere else my words can travel, and I can't stop wanting love anymore. I came so close to a perfect and balanced monastic life. I would write, and write more, all with the determination to see myself as something, someone worthwhile. Now I know the truth of it. I live as the worst of my doubts insisted. The same arrogant loudmouth I used to cover me for so many years could continue, but the little guy with his poetry became untenable. He was, is, and will always be alone. He sees his early work as pointless, and his later words as absolute failures. He writes this now, knowing that he might garner a reader and a comment or two, but most likely none of either. Petrarch finally failed me, but the demons in my head always said he would.
I can't go back. I can't erase the things I've seen, or forget the quivering, shaking fascination of every touch. I want to, but I can't. I want so badly go back to my room and write for hours on beauty as I wrote for so long, but all seems pointless. Why should I write? The old ways mean less to me. I mean less to the people of the present. I go ever onward into irreversible madness, and the stigma that goes with it. How many women are looking for a madman with the urge to write that can't even drive more than five miles away from his home?
So I fade. Every day, I get closer to total madness. My relapses are longer now, with less time in between. Happiness and love were there for me once, even if it was only in my own head. Now, those memories of happiness are distant. They've acquired their own mythology. But the memories of touch are as close now as they were then. Every day, I find a reason to go on without that touch, but those reasons are becoming as scarce as my sanity. Every day there's a little less to pull for inspiration, and a little more to lament. I don't think it would bother me as much as it does if I didn't stare into the eyes of finality every time I think about love. Knowing what I know now, there's little reason to love me. Actually, I see none. Sometimes people wonder if I had it all to do over again, would I stay with Petrarch, and make my life monastic? To them I can only say that my life would feel as incomplete without the heartache of knowing that I will never be loved as it would feel with only verses to the distant past in sympathy with Petrarch.
Love is worth the efforts of life. Madness is not. I don't want to go away into the Void and never come back. Unfortunately, I seem to have no choice.