When she left, my life turned into a series of blank pages at the end of an unfinished book deserted by its writer in an exasperated lack of inspiration. I swam through life, through the doors of my residence, through the streets we had haunted together, through the nightclubs and the glitz. I missed he in my own way. I spent hours playing on my violin and I gave myself in to reading with a feverish passion. I was not interested in the woman who sought to me to console me. I did not like it when they pulled up their skirts suggestively or offered to buy me a drink. I myself did not offer to buy anyone any drinks. I adopted asexuality with a sense of comradeship and spent lonely hours going over photoalbums, exploring tirelessly every aspect of her social life that I had captured in her years as my mistress.
When love dies, the thing that rears its ugly head in its place is not indifference or hate, but a desperate need to claim back what we have lost. That was what I wanted. I wanted her back. I didn’t know why the only people she wanted to impress were the ones who did not care if she was cold at night, or hurt, or unsafe, or unsatisfied, or unsure, or in tears. I cared about all those things. I would have kept her as my mistress for another fifty years until I lay cold in my grave but the excessiveness of her overtly ambitious desire to be the social butterfly of the world had grappled me with a white-hot scar that made me want to seek out every nightclub, every ball, every social event of the universe and replace them with a flaming desire in her loins so she would come crawling back to my arms.
I spent many fanciful evenings creating such long lusty scenes in my head; scenes that always ended with animalistic detailing of a powerful nature.
And then one day when I least expected it, a letter came in her artistically curvy handwriting. I tried to control my trembling hands, tried to tell myself that I was just glad she was alive but when the letter lay open at my feet, I knew a part of my soul had died forever. The unanswered questions did not matter anymore. Our quest had ended forever. I tore up the letter and rode out alone into the sunset sustaining my passionate urges with whores I picked up at reasonable prices, releasing my months of abstinence with a revengeful series of paid escorts who hung on my arms during a night-long festival of dancing and then got into my pants until the wee hours for love-making. This pleasure building exercise alienated me from all the women who had earlier flocked around me for attention.
At the heart of my wondrous, inventive nightly adventures lay a howling animal so wounded he would have slashed out at anything and everything if uncaged and so I let him remain tightly locked up underneath layers and layers of self-restraint padlocks. The magical remains of her smell, her skin, her beautiful, well-rounded body, her smile, her lips, her neck, her eyes disappeared from deep inside my memory. All that remained was an idea of a woman who was weak to the world but strong to me, seen by everyone but known only by me. My woman companions were lusty revenges but I did not know who I was taking revenge on. The woman who had shattered me lived on another continent now and flirted with life and men alike without a damned care in the world.
Then, one dawn when I lay in the arms of a modest hooker from somewhere Far East, I knew she was back in the city. I didn’t know how I knew or why it had to be true but it was. I untangled myself from the arms of this person who suddenly seemed both unreal and wrong to me and ran down several flights of stairs into the cold morning air in slippers and pyjamas, hastily pulling a cloak around myself.
I searched high and dry that entire day in all the places I thought she could be but without luck. When it finally dawned on me to look in the one place I had missed, it was already nightfall. I walked back slowly, drawing curious stares from strangers as I had been all day.
When I threw open the door of my apartment, I noticed at once that something was very amiss. Clothes lay strewn about everywhere; not just my clothes but silk dresses, stockings, silk undergarments…everything in loud, fast colours.
But it was the walls that drew me towards them. She had drawn a mosaic on all the walls of my small flat. Intricate paintings in flat, quick strokes that displayed every aspect of my years with her; everything told in a musical way that made the images dance before my eyes in visual ecstasy.
The trail of blood took a while to emerge before my eyes but once it did, I followed it into the bedroom. Propped up against my desk, arranged in a dignified manner was my hot whore from last night, her throat slit from side-to-side in a fluid motion. I understood at once, but did not recoil. I did not have the need to recoil. I could see and believe what I saw in an objective manner but it did not make me love her any less. It did not make me want her any less. In fact, she had clearly left me the one message I had sub-consciously known all along but never admitted to myself.
There was no need to clear up this mess. They wouldn’t find me. I walked to my closet and started to pack. I was going places.
I left behind all my books, gathering only some clothes and a bag of toiletries. I did not touch anything else, choosing to leave a broad mosaic of clues for the police.
As I closed the lights and walked out, I knew what the truth about us was.
She always had been the woman I thought she had just pretended to be, the woman I had seen only in the bedroom. Her need to please had been limited to me but I had interpreted her wrongly and she had chosen to let it all pass because for her, life really was a huge, unparalleled adventure and she couldn’t have drawn me into it with anything but the most drastic of steps.
And if a life had been lost in the process, it was just a life lost for a greater cause, wasn’t it? There was a world waiting for us.
I turned my back on that world, knowing that she would eventually find me.