It is 2004. July. Martyn-with-a-y is later than me to get here. Busses in the Forest aren’t great. I sit against a tree trunk and read a book. By the time he arrives, I am anxious, but I hold that in. I don’t blurt or blabber, I am just grateful to see him. I smile and say little. We have not seen each other for a few weeks. Parent taxis in the Forest aren’t great either.
We almost run through everything before I even stand up. By the roadside, the crossroadside… We run through the positives and the negatives, the logistics of why we should or shouldn’t invest more time in this bond.
“I don’t really want it to end, but then I don’t really… mind if it does. I don’t have any strong feelings either way really.” I nod. It has fizzled out. Somewhere, I must have done something wrong. I gave him too much space, maybe.
We wander through the woods for a long while, our last sunny alone time. He remarks on how the bracken smells like semen. I remember how he likened egg-white similarly inappropriately the first time I had dinner at his house, with his mum. I think that I’m going to miss his bent for inappropriate conversation.
I obsess over Martyn-with-a-y for a good few years, perhaps several, perhaps more. I tell people how he was the love of my life, and is still one of my best friends even though we don’t talk more than once in a blue moon, we understand each other, he is patient and supportive with me, he is there when I really need him.
I call him years later when I go for a test at a hospital in the nearest city to my hometown – still an unfamiliar, ugly environment to me, alien. He answers, and listens, and even gives compassionate words of support. I love him still.
I think of him most fondly of all those who have left, imagine that it’s him who rescues me when I am alone and in doubt, and with no prospects on the horizon, when I am sad and unfulfilled, it is him who turns up out of the blue and pronounces his mistake, his regret and his wish to make ammends and catch up.
It is 2011. I am in love again. I love and am in love, and am loved. Martyn-with-a-y is alive, well and happy, somewhere, and I am sure that I still need him, but only in that capacity – I am happy as long as he is happy, as I am with any other of my friends that I truly care about.
Like where I’m going with this one? Introduction and other posts in this series at the wayside.