My Love Is Like To Ice
My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold,
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told,
That fire, which all things melts, should harden ice,
And ice, which is congeal’s with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.
Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)
I can sort of relate to Mr Spencer’s love life experiences.
First loves, so they say, are some of the most important, defining character and the future course of life’s actions and expecations.
‘No love… can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever’
My first almost love. Shit happens.
I’m 11 years old. Gillian 13, first violinist and focus of my desire, deep brown hair, and hazel eyes, with shiny black shoes complete with silver butterfly buckle’s. I know this because I’d rush to sit in front of her at school assembly. Gillian raised high on the stage and in my mind. Me sitting crossed legged down below, hymn book between my feet, cherubim gazing up to heaven. Gillian leans over and talks to me. In the chaos of my love torn brain her jumbled words sort themselves into a sentence “could I borrow your hymn book please?” Arms out stretched hands together I present my humble offering. Boundless and unfathomable joy. I watch as she rests my hymn book against her sheet music. She smiles down at ME. I lower my eyes unable to hold her gaze, vision blurred with thoughts of the infinite, gradually focus on the opposing soles of my shoes. A slow creeping ice cold inescapable realisation buds grows and withers within me as I look upon the impression of my hymn book captured in the soft brown of a dog turd stuck to the heel of my shoe. I look up to see the cute nose of my almost love wrinkle as she peels my hymn book from her music and passes it back. One down.
Lesson two. Friends, who needs ’em.
After confessing to my mates that Pamela C is “sooo hot” they grab me and throw me in front of her (and all her friends), shouting that I have something to ask her. Perfect Pamela, innocence and beauty, asks me “what?” and I hear a stuttered reply exit my mouth “would you…?” and her softly killing words enter my ears “no I wouldn’t…” I was 14, and publically crushed.
I 17. Rachael eccentric and alternative. I, hiding my awkwardness behind a ill fitting nonchalance. Talk music and punk rock and sex pistols and limited concerts and free tickets and “would she likes…” to which she replies “your flies…they’re undone Kit” And so was I.
Language is no barrier.
I’m travelling. Shimla India. Tibetan, SHE stands selling shawls dark skinned, with rich green-yellow eyes, wild corn yellow and auburn hair. I walk towards her, our eyes meet and it feels as if we have been moving towards each other drawn by fate, destined, with life’s purpose through countless ages to be together. Love is to small a word. A thousand trembling suns ignite. A nucleus of fusion at our finger tips cascade exponential as they touch, and then part as her mother pulls her away and down the street. I still have that memory, and winding shawl and emptiness and sense of lost potentials.
From the room I worked in I would watch G working not more than 20 feet away. A smile turned to a wave to messages written on paper and held up. We met. Had coffee. Arranged to meet again. G had a car. I had a bike. G would come and pick me up from the flat I shared with three other guys. Now just bear with me here if you will. About 4 weeks earlier a girl had been brutally murdered about half a mile from where I lived. The police had set up road blocks questioning drivers. My flat mate Mark had been stopped. The policeman boasted that they reckoned that they had questioned every male between the age of 17-30 who rode a bike in the city. Mark laughed and said “no you haven’t…” The police arrived lights flashing sirens wailing to pick me up about 2 minutes after G had arrived. I was taken away to be interviewed as a suspected murderer. Outcome predictable. And no it wasn’t me!
Stupid is as stupid does.
At the age of 24 I had all four wisdom teeth removed. Difficulties in extraction under anaesthetic necessitated the dislocation and splitting of my jaw. I took a week off to recover. I’m not good at sitting still, and being high on some serious analgesics I thought it was a brilliant opportunity to invited F to dinner of Italian food and wine, forgetting that a bloke that looks like a dribbling hamster and smells of hospital leaves a poor impression. Add to that an inability to open your mouth wide enough to get anything thicker than a wafer thin mint in, and the outcome, once again, is predestined.
Surprising as it may seem though, I did albeit briefly have sufficient success to perpetuate my gene pool. Poor sod’s, they have no idea what lies ahead.