No 27. Chimera

I want to tell you of my love.

I want you to see what I see, to feel what I feel and to understand what I understand, when she is near. I want this more than anything in the world, but I cannot.

There are not words enough to describe her. She cannot be encompassed by mere expressions. She cannot be circumscribed, defined or contained in any way. She is beyond classification, she cannot be constrained or limited by a mere label. To attempt to classify her in any way would be a sin.

She cannot be known, that’s the problem really. She can never be understood. She is ceaselessly new. With each passing instant she is renewed, remade and original. There is no predicting her, each evolution from one moment to the next is utterly unforeseen and unexpected.

But perhaps I gush.

We can never be whole, together. We are doomed, from the outset, to misunderstanding and loss. There are times when I fear that she is not real at all, that she is a figment of my febrile imagination. I am afraid then that I have lost my mind completely and that I am in fact secured in a strait jacket, cocooned in a nice snug padded cell, quietly bashing my brains out against the softly upholstered walls.

She is more than a passing fancy though, of that I am certain. She is a universe in and of herself. Perhaps I exist inside her. Perhaps I am the passing fancy, a solipsistic figment of her imagination.

I see other men with their women sometimes. Pale, emaciated shades, their blood tepid, the flow turgid and without vigour. I feel sorry for them of course, but I keep my own counsel.

There is no doubt that she is to some extent a fantasy. My friends tell me so, subtly, obliquely, not wishing to offend. She is a construct, my construct. My imagined perfection realised in a woman. But I cannot see it. I cannot distinguish the fantasy from the reality. I cannot say where reality leaves off and fiction begins. I can see what they mean though, my friends, I can recall past loves from whom a veil suddenly fell, revealing them as ordinary, unremarkable people. I can remember the exact moment when the glamour was cast off and cold, hard truth revealed. But what has this to do with my love? It is a false comparison.

My friends put my feelings down to some kind of eccentricity, some caprice or whimsy on my part. Nothing deliberate, and certainly nothing depraved, but perhaps a little wilful. Perhaps a little lacking in rigour.

They say I manufacture illusion, that it suggests perhaps a neurotic need on my part. A need to have found the perfect woman. To have found perfection somewhere, something or someone. Some have suggested that it is nothing what so ever to do with the woman herself, that her apparent perfection is entirely my projection. Further, some have suggested that I am placing too great a burden upon my woman. That I am placing her on a pedestal and thereby setting her up to fail.

Some of my friends, the kinder ones, suggest that my loves are a kind of daydream. That they progress under their own logic irrespective of the woman involved.

I can, for the sake of argument, accept that in the past the women I have fallen in love with have indeed turned out to have feet of clay. None has lived up to their early promise. But this is certainly not my fault. You can’t blame me for that.

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