Wednesday, 19 September 2012

the four poster bed

1994/5a peaceful read or am I dousing ?

1995  I have a mild OCD  condition which appears in times of stress . Sometimes it can work to my advantage other times it is  consuming and stressful. The Yes /No's are perhaps the most time consuming. I ask a line in a  newspaper , book ,or a line of bricks etc a question ,then add up the words on the appointed line with yes/no,s. For example will they ring today or Will the scan be OK  I then scan the line .If it lands on yes I sigh with relief if it lands on no I panic . Of course it is quite mad . Sometimes I douse a book , open a page and read the first line hoping to find a solution to my problems. Actually I suppose it is no different than I Ching.  IT started when I was very young walking home from school , I had to see a red car otherwise something really bad would happen. For years I kept it a secret and my poor mother had no idea what was wrong when I arrived home from school really distressed. Fortunately I have learnt to reason with myself and realise how futile it is and I no longer look for the red car,  however one completely mad  OCD remains. You can laugh ! If I leave my bed to use the loo I have to cross myself before re entering my bedroom just in case the devil is there  and I never flush the loo at night ... you've guessed of course it might swallow me up .  Quite mad I know ..of course he's not there but I'm not brave enough to take the risk. Other than that I guess I am quite normal if a little eccentric... I promise so continue reading.......some might not agree .
A healing experience
the 4 poster that we built together 

 When relationships come to an end for whatever reason it is of course painful. We were no exception.. impossible to live together and painful to be apart. It took extreme courage to walk away especially as I loved him. However he imprisoned ,stifled  me emotionally. I needed to be free. His unusual stylish persona and his cultured mellow   voice had always seduced me, allowed me to forgive, however his instability was at times both amusing and dangerous, depending on his moods . His paranoia destroyed any normality in his life and mine and indeed many of my friends. At times he was gentle , extremely creative ,intelligent, a joy to  be with. Other times a nightmare, like the time he jumped off the jetty fully clothed  and nearly drowned in  the swelling sea when he was feeling sorry for himself because he had nearly lost his driving  licence. He  could hardly swim and it was clearly obvious that he actually did not want to die .  I was nearly dragged into the sea myself trying to rescue him, hanging on to him for dear life and   when my hold let go screaming" swim! swim! swim! "  Safely on shore , his clothes torn and  dripping with seawater , he insisted on going for a meal in a rather smart restaurant until I managed to dissuade him. Of course he would have been deeply offended if he had been refused entry and that would have been another problem. Life was very problematic in his company. Other times he would hold court at beautifully chosen evening   picnic spots, stylishly lit with chandeliers hanging from trees and makeshift  tents, the food beautifully laid out and wine flowing.
  I don't remember the day he left, I have blanked it out of my mind. It was a few months  after I told him about my dream I had the previous night . We were sleeping in the four poster that we had recently  assembled together. I had pleated the canopy with his help . We loved that bed .  In my dream  I saw him hovering silently in the doorway , dressed head to toe in black .  His response  to the dream was one of silence as though he was contemplating. Eventually he responded calmly  and said" I know I am going to die. Ive always know that I would die young ." I tried to laugh it off ,it was just a dream after all, the last thing I wanted was to trigger his paranoia.
We eventually parted after four years together. He was 17 years younger than me although it rarely made any difference,not to me anyway .  It was devastating for both of us but we knew that it was for the best. Occasionally we slipped back together again but we both knew that we were playing with fire, it could only be transient. We both went our separate ways and formed other relationships.  It was not long before he moved in with another woman and I had to accept that it was over. We still saw each other until one day she rang me and forbade any further contact, however innocent it was. In a strange way I was relieved I needed that extra push. That  day I had a dental appointment .  I sat in the dentist chair whilst he drilled my tooth silent  tears were streaming down my face . The poor dentist kept apologising believing that it was his work that gave me pain. I eventually told him that it was the pain from my heart not the pain from my tooth. He gave an embarrassed giggle not quite knowing how to respond . Silent tears are the most painful for they are uncontrollable.
It was that week that I doused the book of women's poetry.  Will we ever go back together? I asked it and opened the page with total surprise at the title .
                                     Parable of the Four-Poster
Because she wants to touch him,
she moves away.
Because she wants to talk to him,
she keeps silent.
Because she wants to kiss him,
she turns away
& kisses a man she does not want to kiss.
He watches
thinking she does not want him.
He listens
hearing her silence.
He turns away
thinking her distant
& kisses a girl he does not want to kiss.
They marry each other--
a four-way mistake.
He goes to bed with his wife
thinking of her.
She goes to bed with her husband
thinking of him.
--& all this in a real old-fashioned four-poster bed.
Do they live unhappily ever after?
Of course.
Do they undo their mistakes ever?
Who is the victim here?
Love is the victim.
Who is the villain?
Love that never dies   Erica Jung
He took this photograph of street art and used it as his thank you letters IDC 1959/1996
The poem  calmed me , made me understand that although we loved each other , it was not to be . I could move on, I was free ..............and so was he . I thought of the four poster bed that we had assembled together. I have since moved from the flat that we shared together. The four poster regally stands in my bedroom , the original drapes , slightly dusty perfuming the room with poignant memories . I have searched high and low for the poetry book to no avail . It disappeared probably when I moved . Deborah cannot remember the title of the book and she gave it for my birthday.

    I would like to say that this essay has a happy ending but life unfortunately does not always deal positive cards . He died a year later of spinal cancer. My dream came true. He always knew that time was running out . I spoke to him a few weeks before he died on the telephone . He was bitter , angry and blamed me for the cancer although it saddened me it helped destroy some of the love that remained ...perhaps that is what he intended. I did not attend the funeral instead I walked along the jetty where he had thrown himself off  and threw the long stemmed buttercups into the sea, his favourite flower . until they disappeared from sight.

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