“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping...waiting...and though unwanted...unbidden...it will stir...open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us...guides us...passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love...the clarity of hatred...and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace...but we would be hollow...Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.”
Joss Whedon hates love. Show after show, episode after episode, lovers meet, lovers die, or lose the love, or suffer the terror of deep misunderstanding. This is especially odd because Whedon seems to have such an innate grasp of love--the heights and the depths of it, the passion, the pitfalls, the purely goofy moments and the heart-clenching sorrows. He writes amazing lovers, but we as fans know that if two of his characters deeply, honestly, purely love...that love will be damaged by the hand of Joss in irreparable ways. For good or ill, from a narrative perspective, Joss cannot let happiness thrive.
This isn't what I wanted to discuss.
The longer I go on, on SL or off the grid, the more it becomes inescapably clear that my own attempts at chronology, here, damage my loves. I have pared things down to the bare minimum of references: no names, then no allusions, just emotions, and now simple observations. It is still too much, which scrapes my soul raw, because there is that in me that wants to express, needs to, even if just to myself. To then set those emotions down, slips of paper bound in ribbons and green glass, thrown far into the virtual sea. To watch how they fare on their own; and more, see what truths they hold, when time passes.
More than that, though, I've been accused of playing the innocent, hands clean of ash and passion's destruction, of heart's true red. Because the more the form pares down, the less emotional connection it has to me, reflected on these pages.
So let me be clear, then: I am culpable. For every love lost, I am culpable. The blood on my hands is vivid even in memory: but I will not, I do not, stand this trial alone.
Yes: I killed a love because my pride, then and now, took goodbye as an end to all things. It is only a word, possessing only known meanings: it is not a command, challenge, or arcane fuel for magic and spell. Just one word. It always has been.
But I view it as severance and dissolution in two worlds, perhaps more. I view it as the blade through the winding cords that bind lovers together; past that word, the world changes. Contact is possible but strained; words are hazarded and measured out, one against one; the ties have frayed and cannot be repaired.
Fine: I accept my blame and the blood on my hands, but I was handed a tirade on attire and position based on assumptions not mine. A simple question could have spared much heartache, but I was never asked. And let me be clear, here--we did not dine on roses and sweet scarlet wine before that word was said: we were riven apart, trying to find our way back to each other's arms, before 'goodbye'.
That car is dust and embers now, the structure irreparably damaged. It will not run again, the rivets pooling on the cinders. No more. I was at fault, yes; but I was not alone.
And yes: I loved, I lost, I was given the chance to love again--that should have been enough and more than enough to light my soul, embracing glorious love returned. Again, my hand curls around the stake that slew the love, because I could not unsharpen my tongue. That one saw me and I raged; saw me and I railed against the heavens; is it any wonder he left me, still consumed with my own bitter rejection of suffered slights?
But in amongst every calumnied word lays the harsh and stark truth of it: if he once had focused less upon his appearance, to be reproduced down to the angle of bone underneath his right eye, the button third down on his left lapel, there may have been something to save. If he had once stopped, and turned, and held me, I might have swallowed the churning rage, turned it to more gentle things.
He did not. So yes, I am at fault, the drifting ash of that love's death will stay with me, I accept that. That car is ashes on the wind with nary a stick standing because I chose to drive away love, as much as I felt driven and pushed to the side. I am to blame. But I am not alone.
Yes: I killed a love because in the midst of love old that had become new again, my attention strayed to thoughts of another. I admit this freely: everything that followed bears the prints of my hands, livid crimson stains, stark and bright. And had I not been who I am, had I been more able to stand and walk away, not cling to the remnants of love that had died long before, we might both have been better off in the long run. This is my flaw and my fault: I know this, I hear this, this is truth and consequence in bone-chilling clarity.
But for all my flaws and faults, every charred, clawed, wounded section of my soul, the one thing I have never done and would never do is directly threaten the life of any love. That breaks all bonds, breaks any and all bargains.
That car is glowing ash, and I will salt the earth the ash glitters upon, if need ever exists. I sever all ties, any that may yet remain: and if that is seen as more proof of damage, then so be it. I accept culpability and responsibility: but that car will not be rebuilt. Ever. It is not of me or in me to repair any bit of this, and it will die and fade and the air will clear. I was not alone, and mine was not the hand that hired the kill.
And yes: I killed a love who wanted me closer than any have wanted me before. Whatever the strange and strained truth of it, the agreements that I made, the giving in and the giving up--when that love, for whatever reasons, walked away, I turned my back on agreements made. For my part, I gave him a month to resolve things, thirty days longer than any of my friends wished me to at the time. But at the end of that thirty days, I rejected his suit, and when he returned, a scant handful of days after, even then I did try to repair what we had, to heal the rift between us.
It did not work, for all my efforts, and perhaps it can be said that I never wanted it to heal, past that point. So yes, my hand is the wounding strike, my hand filled with crimson, dripping, drawing it out of the chest of love; but if he had not walked away, there would have been no talks of ending. He had endless ways and means to contact me, and endless opportunities to do so; he told me after he had forgotten them all, including my name.
If that is so, then though I bear the blame, so does he: it would not have faltered had communication not broken down on both sides. And that car is dissolved into carnival posters on the winds, shreds of performance photographs, and memories of dancing in ballrooms that never existed; the main beams and supports have collapsed, and they will be swept away when the next change comes. I am not alone, though I am culpable.
All my loves, great and small, flings and deep rich veins of adoration alike...when the end came, yes, my hand is seen, but I am not the only one. I am not uninvolved, this is true. I fuel the fire, I stoke the engines, I heat the flames. The breath and love and heart in me, transformed into steel. And my hand guides my ruin.
But I am not alone. My fault, my blame, my tragedy, yes: but never mine alone. What I lost, lost on my own. But what I lost, I lost with help, always.