Friday, 6 March 2015

My Lady

There was a post on the blog Don't ask Leah that truly resinated with me. Most likely because both she and I share a connection with the woman she has so poetically described. I felt like she knew me, was writing too me and worse writing about me...

"She's mad but she's magic.
There's no lie in her fire."
 - Charles Bukowski

I used to have this friend.
She was chaotically beautiful.

Her hair was long and relentlessly straight, the bright red lipstick she wore set her hazel eyes alight, her jeans were ripped at the knees and clung tight to her legs, and her combat boots added an extra inch of height to her already tall frame.

I once described her, “if my soul could be seen, it would look like her.”

There were nights I stayed at her place, her haunting voice lulling me to sleep as she sang to the gentle caresses of her guitar strings. Some mornings I would wake to her absence, her body replaced with a letter detailing the contents of her pantry that I was free to scavenge.

We had one of those friendships that no one questioned. People would experience us together and comment on our interactions. Our sense of humour paralleled one another’s, our individual quirks only complimenting us further. Every day we would greet each other with pouted lips, an adoring peck and a lingering hug.

We both swore with disregard and flirted with a certain boyish charm. We borrowed each other’s clothes without asking, considering the items lost for the rest of time. We soaked each other’s palms in sweat as we clung to one another during horror movies that haunted us for days after.

I remember laying in her bed one night, enveloped in silence as our conversation waned. We lay next to each other facing the same way when, just as I was drifting to sleep, she fumbled behind her for my hand, linked her fingers in mine and pulled me closer to her. We lay like that all night.

And that is how we slept for the rest of our friendship. She would let herself into my family home in one colourful poncho or another, and we would drink red wine as we cooked dinner before taking our places on the lounge to cuss life woes. 

Some nights she would twirl my curls around her fingers as I rested in her lap.
Some nights we drank gin instead of wine.
Some nights we ate dark chocolate and spoke about the absolute romance of travel.
And one particular night, she had a disturbing incident with an aerosol can of “super bronze” tanning spray.

We both loved with reckless abandon. We took heartbreak hard, wearing it like a heavy winter coat. It was a foreign language that we both spoke fluently, through tearful hiccups as it may be. 

Throughout my most tumultuous breakup she was right by my side, consoling me when I needed it most and allowing my silence when it was all I could muster. She checked in on me and sent me messages if only to tell me she loved me.

Not long after, her own relationship broke down as well, and so too did she. The woman I knew better than myself began doubting all that she was. She ceased seeing what little beauty she had been able to recognise previously.

We spent weeks locked in an embrace. Sometimes I cried. Sometime she cried. Every night though, we laughed. In each other’s arms, we were in fact not as broken as we thought.

It was within the depths of our anguish that we recognised our great differences. We knew each other’s patterns as though they were our own, the patterns that often led to our demise. We dealt with life extremely differently – almost conflictingly so. It was in our differences that a divide between us began to form. 

She considered me judgemental, sometimes I thought she was a hypocrite. She said I was too sensitive, I thought her saying that was cruel. She was scattered and aloof, I was demanding and needy. Battling her demons, as we all do, she became a shadow of the lady I once knew. The colour drained from her person, the apparel she wore became muted, and her laughter became forced and shallow. 

I worried about her constantly, inventing new ways to tell her how beautiful she was when she felt at her most grotesque. I conjured up weekend plans, only to be met with the repetitive answer that she wasn’t interested in being around people. Where I was initially riddled with concern and overcome with a desire to yank my friend out of the rut she found herself in, I became distant and exhausted. Nothing I said seemed to alleviate any amount of stress she was putting herself, and her body under. Nothing I did seemed to resuscitate the essence of my lady. Her judgement seemed skewed and tainted with negativity.

I eventually began believing the things she said about herself. I doubted she would ever get better. 

My concerns were answered when our relationship broke down. I couldn’t stomach the distaste she felt for herself, when all I have ever seen was a spectacular woman with the world at her fingertips. I felt useless when my words of encouragement lingered in the air between us, then fell violently to the floor. I felt a sadness for her that someone so beautiful refused to listen to the people around her, who care for her beyond reason.

I am not sure what the point this is, or if there is one at all. I have no idea why I am writing about my lady.
Maybe I miss her.
Maybe in the absence of her flesh, I still need to keep the image of her alive; keep the colour in my soul.
Or maybe I want her to know how magnificent she really is, in the only way I know how.

* Please note that this post is not written by Marlow Lou it is from the blog Don't Ask Leah

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