I Loved Her Once

I loved her once. She was tall, with dark hair and dark eyes that sparkled. Her smile lit up her face and her laughter was infectious. But I didn’t love her because of physical gifts or actions. She was smart and ever so quick. One of the few who got me, who understood me on a different level and in a different place than the others. But I didn’t love her because of that either.

Nor did I love her because she was the one who I trusted completely and felt safe with. Didn’t love her because of soft kisses and sweet whispers.

I loved her for all of these things and more. It was complete and consuming this love. Didn’t matter that she wasn’t as logical, rational or together as she claimed. Nor did I care that sometimes she would flip out and go off about crazy stuff. Damn woman found her way inside my head and heart so I took the good and the bad. We called it a mature love, deeper and more powerful than any we had ever experienced before.


But the gods laugh at those who aspire to climb the heights that we found ourselves upon. Icarus flew too high and his wings were shorn off causing him to fall into the the abyss. When his wife died Mighty Orpheus marched straight into the underworld and negotiated a deal with Hades to secure her return to life. Just moments away from their goal he failed in his resolve and lost her again to the underworld.

So if you ask me if I refer to us as a Greek tragedy than I say yes, I do. I do because you cannot share the things that we did, say what we said or feel such things and then fail to find a way to be together. I say it is a tragedy because to view it in other terms either diminishes it or calls into question the integrity of another. And so I have found myself alone and apart, dancing in the fire for untold ages.

I loved her once. She, who I speak of was the dearest part of my heart and the essence of my soul. I stare into the blackness in silence and replay that which once was. I think of Elizabeth Browning and Bertrand Russell. I see math, science and poetry. I hear the music and the whispers. There are moments where I feel her still, sense her close by, can smell and taste her.

But she is never there and now in my darkest hours I witness the entrance of anger. I acknowledge doubt and wonder if I am a sucker who misunderstood it all. Wonder if I saw only what I wanted to see. But I take a deep breath and recognize that the anger masks the hurt. The anger is a mask that I wear because it allows me to say that I loved her once when the truth is that I love her still.

And in the silence of the night lost in the shadows are the things that tell me that I wasn’t a sucker or a fool. The evidence isn’t based upon formulas or science. You cannot build your castles upon the foundation that we built, at least not those made of brick and stone. But you can find something more durable and lasting. The love that built what once was is more powerful than one can measure or imagine. And if you open your heart to it you will find that the person you never knew you needed hasn’t disappeared or gone away.

And in the silence of the night you might find your fingers interlocked with theirs and your breathing in rhythm as the heart you share still beats for both of you.

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