For most anyone else, it would be a bittersweet film about a relationship that couldn’t last but nevertheless made each person better for knowing the other.
For me, it’s about the impossible longing to go back to the moment where everything could have been changed. To correct the trajectory that was a fraction of a degree off course at the launching, a tiny mistake that became larger and larger and more irrevocable the farther we went.
“Here’s to hoping that our friendship can go where our love could not.” – A., 2015
I only found that note months after the last time I ever saw her.
The French Conditional Mood: The verb “aimer” is used to express a polite desire, sometimes one that cannot be fulfilled.
J’aimerais que si j’avais été un peu plus âgés. J’aimerais que si j’avais plus patient. Si j’avais été mieux. Si, si, si…
Not because I’m not happy now. But because I needlessly wasted so many good things before I got here.
Nothing but wordless images now –
an open window, a moment of panic, before I saw her perched on the ledge, smoking and listening to a sad song. a body against my back, fingers suddenly harsh and unfriendly on my throat. a low voice. peeling the backing off a fever cooling patch, patting it down on her hot forehead. being manic then, I didn’t need much sleep, so I would go into the kitchen and watch movies and eat cookies with milk while she slept on the mattress on the floor. we made so many plans and there was never enough time or money. a subdivision guard knocking on the steamed-up car window, looming in the darkness outside. a christmas party with all her closest friends, giving her a box full of our history, as well as I could document it. The musty room filled with musty objects, the four walls within which we had to contain our love. a lighted river, a moment of uncertainty. fingers on my cheeks, wiping away my tears. poems. poems and poems and poems, flitting back and forth between us like birds singing the sweetest notes.
I don’t think about the endings though, all the good reasons why, all the good reasons to forget. My mind doesn’t wander down there. I still don’t really know why.
The path I walk now, and the one who walks with me, is just as sweet – and often sweeter, in its way – but the long journey here was so needlessly bitter