Leonard Cohen understands. I tear up alone in the bus as he whispers in my ear about a love long lost, about the loneliness of becoming invisible, about people from a world long gone.
Alex Turner understands. He croons about the ghosts in his mirror as I look at my reflexion in the window and wonder when the face looking back at me became my own.
The friends I buried in the fog understood. They saw a paradise behind tall walls and blackened windows. In turn, I made them camp in my desert and fed them the crumbs of my broken heart until they moved away to greener pastures, disappointed with the unfulfilled promise of fresh water and laughter.
Even you understand. Yes, you, reader. I know you know what I’m saying. You see this flesh I’m baring. You envisage this past I’m burning.
He claimed, still claims, I understood him. After all, I have seen him bruised and battered from his fights with the shadows following him down the street and into the metro station and inside the train. I have seen him bleed on the kitchen floor. I have seen him run for cover from the rain of fire of the apocalypses in his mind. I didn’t even flinch when he put his hands around my neck, mistaking me for his sanity.
But I don’t think I understand, not entirely. I still don’t know why he turned away from the home I made for him to light himself on fire in the middle of the street. I don’t know why he told me martyrdom made a much better mistress than me.
And I know for sure he never understood me, not really. He, the one for whom I demolished castles and lost battles I was meant to win, thought me destined to die a loveless missionary wife in the pyre of his vanity.
He used to call me a savage detective, but all I ever wanted to be was a cat in a field, a loving housewife, The Most Important Author In The World, a rich man, Patti Smith, a girl who cries at concerts, a ballet dancer, someone tall and pretty, someone who doesn’t remind him of death in a red dress.