“Raged and been a fool when I shoulda loved and repented.”— Jack Kerouac
The radio was on BBC Nottingham. One of those songs came on and I just sat there in dumb-shock blankness. I went all maudlin thinking of those days curled up in cahoots; you and me and a cup of tea dreaming up all those futures on a cheeky Friday night—Chinese takeaway, glasses of port, watching telly.
When you moved on, not a thought was spared on me. You went on to make your happiness and left me wondering if I was practice— the imaginary friend in some fairy tale. And I held on to that last “I love you” for a couple of years like Tinkerbell waiting on her Pan. But you grew up even though you didn’t know it. You went after the conventionality of your real age and balding head.
I suppose it is time for me to let it all go. I wasted years following the verdant mirage when I should have paid attention to the real brown town of life.
I am now on my own but I don’t fear being alone. I prefer it to being in the company of those who, for all their attentiveness, are make-believe. Solitude isn’t crippling; holding on to you is. So I am happy to let you go now.
I am content.
—And no regrets.