I'll try to be brief because this subject, almost more than any other, is one which I could ramble on about until the hind legs of donkeys everywhere have parted company with the rest of said beasts, until all the dairy herd have returned to the farm from a week-long amble through the countryside, and until my face has turned the colour of a cloudless sky.
I met my gorgeous wife - a woman who is simply without compare (and yet who has a very strange idea about what makes the ideal husband) - more than thirty two years ago. We very quickly fell in love and were partners for almost three years before we went our separate ways for reasons which would lead me to utterly shatter my promise to be brief. What matters is that we split up and basically - after seeing one another approximately ten months afterwards - completely lost touch for the next twenty two years.
In the intervening years we both led eventful lives. We both married and had kids (I didn't actually gestate the babies like she did, but you get the picture), we both had rewarding professional careers, and we both made courageous and life-changing decisions of one sort or another. By the time we re-discovered one another's existence (via the wonder of the internetwebthing), we had both had unsuccessful conclusions to our respective marriages - she was already a divorcee, I someone just arrived at the end of my own marriage.
Cutting short a long, syrupy and gushy story (with lots of soft-focus pictures, flowers and romantic music), our love burst into our lives in a way that had no script, no precedents and no rules to guide it. We simply charged, headlong and recklessly, into love once again. It was - and is - right. It's something that neither of us has any control over. We love one another in a way that I have never known before.
So WHY - WHY, dammit - does an ancient, terrified and stupid program suddenly fire up twenty minutes ago when I see an old photo - one that I've seen many times before - of my gorgeous lover with a previous partner of hers? It makes me so fucking mad that this little spiky part of me raises its head above the parapet, jabs me in the ribs for maybe two seconds and then disappears again, leaving the echo of a pain that is thirty years old, and which has no place in my life now... What positive purpose does it serve? I wonder...
I have to admit that it reminds me of how much I love her. It reminds me of how much of a hole in my life I had without her, despite the people I loved who surrounded me and made me happy just by being there, and it reminds me of how much - at a fundamental level, I need her in my life for the rest of my life. Finally, it reminds me of the idiot I once was - and there is the root of my frustration and anger - the idiot who pushed her away in the first place; the idiot so scared that I held on too tight to her for fear of being left alone.
That idiotic part is tiny, shrivelled and almost gone now. I thought it had vanished completely, but apparently there is still a withered relic lying deep within my memory. We've been back together for seven years, and our love is unbreakable, so this extremely annoying intrusion from my past into the present is not only annoying, it's utterly ridiculous. Now I'm angry with myself, but perhaps it's time to leave that kind of feeling behind with all the other old, irrelevant nonsense. This moment, after all, lasted two seconds, no more than that - and I've been fulminating over it for so much longer than it deserves.
It's time instead now to focus upon the things I am reminded of; those things which are real and true. Time to leave the frightened boy behind once and for all and to live in the now, looking forward to our future.