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2002-09-03 - 2:03 a.m.
"I want to tell you, I feel hung up and I don't know why"
The words of the late George Harrison, from one of the greatest albums of all time, 'Revolver' by the Beatles. In fact it would be perfect if it weren't for bloody "Yellow Submarine" sitting rudely in the middle of it. If only they knew they'd be releasing a whole album of such trifles under that banner a couple of years later, maybe they could have put "Rain" on there instead, and then it would have been perfect.
Yes, this the anal retentive side of me- my 'Rob Fleming' (the protagonist of Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" for those who don't know). The side of me who will go through an A4 notepad trying to perfect my Top 10 songs of all time, and still failing.
But I digress. Often :) Where was I? Oh yes, there is a twofold meaning to my opening quote today. For one it was another one of those "good-to-be-alive" days weather-wise, and this time Spring is really here. I took my brother's car to work, partly because mine is a shitbox (a soon to be re-registered shitbox, but a shitbox nonetheless), but mainly because I wanted the joyful strains of Paul McCartney singing "Good Day Sunshine" and "Got To Get You Into My Life" blasting out of the six-stack CD player he has in his boot. An airing of 'Revolver', and "Good Day Sunshine" in particular, is almost a ritual for me on a sunny day when I've let my worries momentarily evaporate with the previous day's rain.
Having said that, the line "I feel hung up and I don't know why" has been ringing true recently. I guess that's not entirely accurate because I do know what is missing at the moment.
I want to be in love- requited love dammit. I've been reading the bittersweet thoughts of some of my friends in love, and while I sympathise with their predicaments, I also envy them.
I think my problem at the moment is that I can't define what I'm feeling. I can't slot it into anything I've been through in my life so far. I am in love, but I don't know if I'm actually in love with someone who is real or my idea of them. I want them but even if I could have them it wouldn't work because I don't think we are compatible in that way. What we *do* have is something special, but to the extent that I don't think we could get any closer. Does that make any sense? Let us take an alternate situation in which further to our friendship now, we "got together" so to speak. If you were to be extremely nerdy and draw a graph in which that progression was on the horizontal axis and this abstract "closeness" I speak of was on the vertical, you would see a peak at about where we are now.
And because of what we do have, I can't compare this to other situations of wholly unrequited love such as Taryn on Tanya. How do you do that when your "unrequited love" is telling you how much she loves you and how important you are to her?
And just because I haven't mentioned Ellie in any of these scenarios does *not* mean that I loved abovementioned people and I didn't love her. I can't compare her to any of them because it is the only requited situation I've ever been in- the only relationship I've ever been. We shared things that I've never shared with anyone else, and even if she doesn't believe me I experienced feelings I never have with anyone else. When it came down to it, Ellie asked if I was ever "in love" with her and I said that to be honest I didn't know, but I don't know that it matters in hindsight, because it's not something I can sit down, think about and work out- I think it will always be "I don't know", but what we had remains indelibly stamped into my life. It floats through my mind independent of whatever else was happening at the time (for example I rarely break my working life in the last two years into before, during and after I was with Ellie). It also stands independent of what both of us went through during and after our breakup, and as much as I concede that my feelings for Annie were developing while we were still together, I maintain that I can separate them from Ellie and I. And I mean that. I can chart my feelings for Annie from when they started without them interfering with this "stamp" Ellie has left on my life.
I digressed again didn't I? But it's important because I want her to believe that nothing that has happened since then has cheapened what we had in my mind.
Having said that I'll go back to what I was initially saying. There was Ellie and I, the only real relationship I've ever been in. There was Cindy and I, a situation which for all intents and purposes saw us coming from similar angles, even if that is a naive view in hindsight. There was Taryn, who I was completely besotted with from Year 10 until halfway through my first year of Uni. That is something I ca never really put into words. "Spiritual" was as close as I could get. Because I rarely looked at her in a sexual light, which was odd for me at 17, hell- it's odd for me now. I was just completely and totally in love with her. I didn't want to sleep with her, much :) I wanted to be with her, kiss her, marry her and sire her children I think. I don't even know. But the main point is it was unrequited love in its purest form. You could look as deep as you liked but there were no such feelings for me in her heart. I'm beginning to doubt how close we even were as friends- in reality we never saw each other outside of school, and I think our friendship was a direct result of me being in love with her and wanting to always be around her and talk to her.
Tanya was an interesting one. We were closer friends than Taryn and I ever were, but I think I had a thing for her before we became good friends. That's compared to (not long after) Krys who was the closest female friend I'd ever had at that point in my life, and from there I kinda developed a thing for her for a while. Tanya was also an interesting one in that when I look back on that time (ah the good old handwritten diary, there's something to be said for them)I feel that my thoughts betray me as a pious, self-righteous wanker, as much as I never meant to be. By the time Tanya came around I'd learned to skip the "do I have a chance with this girl?" step in the formation of feelings- my self-confidence was not exactly high. No, the problem with Tanya was that I didn't think she was the kind of girl I wanted to be in unrequited love with. How fucked up is that? You can't help who you fall in love with, but I spent my time worrying about the implications of being in love with this girl. She did drugs, she slept around, she scorned religion. I'll leave the tale of my descent from naive "Christian-by-default" to cynical agnostic for another time, but for the purpose of this entry all you need to know is that none of his impressed me at the time.
The drugs downright scared me. That's even more true with Annie and I thank the God I just denied existence to that it's not as much of an issue anymore. But when I met Tanya I was a sheltered naive 18 year old (tragic I know) who had been drinking for less than a year, never so much as touched a cigarette and had never even seen anyone smoke dope.
So that fucked with my mind for a good few months, then I kinda fell for Krys, then I fell for Tanya again but this time I was okay with the drugs, or more to the point I loved her for who she was, and even better I was completely content being in unrequited love with her. I came to the conclusion that being in love, even if it wasn't reciprocated, made me a better person- and I believe that to this day. I sometimes get this optimistic with Annie but it's not that simple. And I came to the conclusion that while I was okay with being in love with her, I didn't think I necessarily ever wanted to be "with her", but I wanted to be her guardian angel, to watch over her, and make sure nothing ever happened to her. There's a Bernie Hayes song which is quite appropriate here which I think I'll throw into my next entry.
And I think that's where I am with Annie. Only it's very different because I feel like I can directly assist with her well-being. And the thought of that is so powerful it's scary. I could never really do much for Tanya, she had been through so much and it hurt me to think of it, but in reality all I could do was watch. But Annie has told me so many times that she'd be lost without me, how can that not fuck with your head?
Ben Folds said in 'Best Imitation of Myself' : "Maybe I'm thinking myself in a hole, wondering..." I've just done the opposite- I've thought myself in a circle, or possible thought myself in some tangible direction. I started this entry unable to equate what I feel for Annie with anything else I've ever felt- now I've conceded it's quite similar to what I felt for Tanya, and I can pinpoint the differences.
I honestly don't think I would want to "be with" Annie. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm in love with her. And, while I hate to lower the bar here and go from master craftsmen such as the Beatles and Ben Folds to dodgy eighties rock, "love hurts".
I don't think I want to be in love with Annie. I love her with all my heart, and I care about her so much, and the thought of her coming to any harm and the knowledge that she has been close too many times scares me beyond words. I will always be there for her, and she knows that, but I don't want to be in love with her.
However in my experience, I don't fall out of love easily. In fact it could reasonably said that I don't fall out of love at all. It merely takes aim at somebody else and the cycle continues. Ever since I was 12, it's like my emotions have been evolving independently of their targets.
I know the one and only way that I could no longer be in love with Annie. I recognised this over 5 years ago, once again the conclusion I came to was independent of my targets. I've since found this theory had been put into words years before I formulated it, in 1992 to be precise, when a band that 6 years later would change my life forever were getting themselves together in the cheapest studio they could find.
And so I repeat it like a mantra:
"Give me someone to get her out of my mind"