19 February 2009

"We'd have been bang at it"

Now Nero or Nicola to give her her real name - which she hated - always liked, nay demanded, to be called Nero. Anyone who didn't had to suffer her little speech about how she hated her Italian boys name and preferred Nero, plain Nero. Once you heard that speech a few times you never called her Nicola again. If she was in a good mood she'd let you get away with Nicky. But only occasionally.

Now Nero for the past ten years and more had been my best friend, my mentor, my inspiration, my partner, my lover, my travel companion. Everything. She's literally been everything to me. That is a lot to project onto one person. Maybe that's why all these events seem to have a such magnifying effect on my psyche. I'm not using the word psyche as a joke. I feel a slight connection with that word as psyche was a young woman who loved and was loved by Eros and was united with him after Aphrodite's jealousy was overcome. She subsequently became the personification of the soul.

From that first day I started University to now she's been so integral a part of my life that I cannot contemplate life without her. I know I should but this is the first time it’s ever come onto my radar. It would have been so much easier to see what was going on and cut myself off from it. I would have spared myself so much heartache and pain. But I can't. Just can't. She's done for me what she is now doing for “Him”. Listened. She listened to me going on about my decidedly uncool, working class upbringing in a drugged up and alcoholically violent household in the North east. My step mother was a long term lorazepam addict who had violent rages and then couldn't remember anything. She suffered from Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, a particularly nasty withdrawal similar to alcohol that unless tapered off slowly can lead to all sorts of symptoms that she took out on me and my brother. She listened to me going on about my crazed brother, the recipient of our step mothers violence, and my fucked up and drugged up life; my anger, my depression, my madness, my fear. God, when I look back I think of the shit I've laid on her and I can't help crying out loud because at the time you just aren't aware of what you're doing are you?

Once I eventually got to university and was half educated (what a freedom this bestows on the psyche) and had learnt about psychology and psychoanalysis (thank you Freud and your followers for the talking cure) and had lived on that emotional rollercoaster that is university life - a crash course in living - and once I had all that and read books with great ideas in them and had talked to and hung out with smart people and had lived some and loved a lot and interacted and everything then I knew how very special she was. Not just to me but to everyone who has ever come into contact with her, unique, beautiful personality. I think now; what am I doing to her? My jealousy is really hurting her. Why can't I stop? She is obviously unhappy in her relationship with me and this is manifesting in her behaviour now. But she won't talk. She just lives.

Then she said it. I was scared, angry, all that extremes of emotion stuff but the worst was how my blood froze cold and you know like in the movies when Freddy or some monster jumps out and they do that camera effect where the background suddenly moves quickly forward but the person doesn't move and it's really disturbing and scary? That's what happened to me when she told me she'd had a snog with “Him”. All the clich├ęs can't describe it, from devastation to the whole pack of cards falling in. It does affect you terribly when you live it in the moment. Knowing that your relationship is so damaged it may never recover.
"I knew something had happened", was all I could say.
"It happened four weeks ago", she said.
"You changed when it happened. I noticed".
"I know you noticed, but couldn't tell you because I knew how you would react".
"Why?" I eventually asked.
"I had to do it. It was only a snog. I had to see if there was a spark there..."
"...And if there was?"
I was hoping she would go easy on me here and lie but she didn't.
"We'd have been bang at it". That cold feeling overwhelms me and that one phrase now comes into my head every time I see the two of them sitting together now. Every time.

That was when the jealousy took hold of me for the first time. Rather than accept the straight facts there as they were given to me. Rather than realise the inevitable and see that she was telling me something good for her but terrible for me. This great fear of abandonment I have (or so said the therapist me and Nero go to later down the line) rears up and manifests itself in the form of the green eyed uncontrollable shit. The deep, cold fear of abandonment I felt that day when I was 5 years old and my mother left me. Where did she go? my 5 year old brain asked. Why? Doesn’t she love me anymore? What have I done to deserve this?

The jealousy asks questions then answers them for you. All you can do is agree because it might be a way out. There might be a way that she will not do this and reverse it somehow and then she will be like she used to be when it was you she loved. Yeah. That's it; a desperate attempt at some sort of retention; some way that the inevitable will not be accepted, but reversed. A desperate, desperate clinging onto something that is actually no longer there.

If they've done it once then it's only a matter of time before they do it again isn't it? Yes, says the jealousy, keep an eye on them says the jealousy. Find out. Watch her. Don't trust him. Why did they do this? And on and on. I felt a bitter, defeated blow. A relationship reaching it's change point, tilting, through one kiss?

This made her subsequent behaviour even worse. Nothing changed. We still lived with each other and worked and partied. Except now at parties she'd ignore me and sit and talk with “Him” all the time. The change was perceptible. The chill outs were the worst. He'd give her E, bottles of wine, lines of 'paste' (base amphetamine). I wouldn't see her for 48 hours and then she'd come home exhausted, sleep, go to work, come home, sleep, go to work. I'd go to a friend’s midweek because he's got a little studio setup and we'd fuck about on Cubase for hours on end adjusting and readjusting a snare pattern or whatever. That's take me to Wednesday night and I'd come home and, because I was tired, sleep.

By the time I got back from work down the record shop on Thursday it'd be 7th Heaven, our club night, and we'd be too busy loading equipment for the club and by the time we were out it was too late and we wouldn't get the chance to talk as she'd be with “Him” again and my jealousy (fear? loathing? disappointment? aching sadness? The end of my life as I’d known it?) would take over and I'd kick off again and she wouldn't speak to me or go off on another bender again and I would go home and cry and beat the pillow out of sheer frustration in the darkness of our bedroom crying out to some God I didn't believe in for some sort of help to get me through this feeling I didn't understand and realising, for the first time, in the tears and the dark and the hurt, it is a change I must go through on my own. No one is there. I have to experience this alone.