I’m in love with a dead man.
Head over heels, lindy-hoppin’, hells-a-poppin’, TomKat-couch-jumpin’ in love. With a dead man. I think about Him and my heart swoons.
I remember the night we met. He was wearing a blue turtle neck jumper, blue jeans, and smoking a Marlboro light. He smiled at me and I was hooked.
“Mother,” I said to The Long-Suffering One that same evening. “I’ve met the man I’m going to marry.”
And I did, four years and a small amount of petulance later. (“Well, when ARE you going to ask me to marry you then, for fuck’s sake?!”)
So in all of this – this being truly, madly, deeply in love with a dead man – where could there ever be room for anyone else? And furthermore, what sort of head-banging masochist would put up with being in a relationship with someone who was still in love with said dead man? Particularly one with a small child, a red wine addiction and a habit of unexpectedly breaking down in the throes of grief?
I have been forced to consider this question this week, after a good friend who only cares for my well-being, called me Widow Twankey and instructed me to ‘get a life’. I would have preferred a comparison with a more romantic heroic lead, but I suppose if the hairnet fits…
She said it in response to my admission that I’m lonely and might quite like a friend who is a boy. Her outburst was tempered with humour and red wine, but based on the adages relating to these two concepts and truth, I kinda know she meant it. Others are probably thinking the same, of course, but lack her eloquence to express it.
So, in considering this question, here’s where I’ve got to. I’m in love with Mark. And we exist together in the impenetrable love cocoon that I have created inside my head.
I’m just not sure how to go about letting anyone else in.