Now I am not just saying it to please you…I did enjoy the art class on Sunday. The thing is I have normally spent all my free-time from childhood onward on sports and hiking where I can push myself or just run around having fun…noisy events – karaoke, parties, dancing, live music, loud friends. I do also like museums and historical houses and sites. Even though I am not all that noisy in myself I am attracted to noisy, loud, energetic people. But it was nice to sit and feel calm and concentrate and try to produce something respectable with a pencil. I was more relaxed than I expected, and I was pleased I was starting to make a bit of progress. Not that I have any aspirations for even attempting to accomplish something worthy of praise. But the point is…I enjoyed it. And I was very impressed by what you and some of the others in the class were able to produce. I told my workmates on Monday I had been to an art class, but I was too much of a wimp to tell them what I was drawing. In fact, when they asked me what we drew I said “oh, all sorts of things.”
I do like trying to please you Goldfinch. I am mushy…I know…and if it annoys you I will try to reign it in. It’s not just because I am female…I am sure you and I both know many women who are not sentimental at all. I am sentimental I guess. I think I am realistic too. I am a big believer that each person is going to think and feel differently…and in some respects it is a miracle that people meet and decide they will try to build something together…except for hormones, they take the miracle out of it. However, when it comes to love, you can’t force anything…there is no door handle on the outside of the human heart. On a realistic (maybe pessimistic) note…I don’t believe that I “float your boat” anywhere near as much as you float mine. I don’t think you like me saying that.
I cannot concern myself with the way every single other person thinks and feels – and trying to generalize is futile (even if most men are from Mars). But generalities aside, I do try to understand those close to me….as in where are they coming from mentally and emotionally? Sometimes, it’s enough to try to keep an eye on my own mind and heart, and try to figure out why I am doing things. It is ingrained in me to want to love (and be loved I guess). So much of what I might say and do is just inclination formed by years of past experience. I can’t see myself changing drastically unless I was changed by a major event. To me…well, as I have mentioned, many men are from Mars…and frankly I don’t think I would have much motivation if it was hormones alone that were impelling me. I love thinking of you in a sentimental frame of mind, maybe romantic. My head is in a very happy place when I am trying to think of little things to please you. It feels great to be sweet and kindly and homely and lovely and giving. It makes me feel like my mum…and I mean that in a very good way. But if you find you are not enjoying it, I will listen and adjust.
It is not difficult to feel fondness and affection for you…it would be difficult to try to repress it. You do make me feel happy…and you bring me great pleasure. Mentally I know…if you were not going to leave England, I guess I know where my thoughts would collide with yours and there would be challenges to any lasting connection. We would probably drift apart naturally. We would not have the desire to spend time with someone who deep down we realized was from a different planet. Maybe it is because you are not going to be here for long that I am switching my mind off and following my feelings of happiness and pleasure and excitement.
I don’t know what I am doing long term anymore. Life has not worked out the way I expected it to. I was thinking back to a little 5 or 6-year-old me. This is me back then. Please excuse the absence of front teeth. I had eaten a banana one of my dad’s customers gave to me and by the time I finished it I had accidentally swallowed my two front teeth which had been very wobbly. As you can see I already had an impeccable sense of style, sunglasses, leather jacket…and although I would never become a rock star, I was well on the way to becoming a karaoke queen.
One of my school mates was a boy named Ian Prime. He was like a miniature jolly farmer. I was too young to have a crush on Ian Prime, but I think I knew that he and I were a match. We were on the same level. I could see Ian Prime as the farmer, and me as the farmer’s wife. I think that is how I thought life would turn out when I was a little girl. I am not sure really what else it is all about. There was never any issue about meeting parents. I knew Ian Prime’s mum and he knew my mum. A man and a woman start a team, they build together a home, they plant veggies and harvest them, she cooks meals and makes curtains, he carves out furniture and fixes fences, there are cows to milk and all sorts of animals to feed, then there might be children…although at the age of 5 or 6 I could not see myself having children and I still can’t imagine it now. But that might be because I feel as if I am still a child myself and can’t take on the responsibility of a child. But the rest I can see. I still don’t understand how the system we live in does not seem to allow for that. I don’t think I have goals or ambitions because the world is so shaky and unreliable and even basic human desires seem unattainable.
Each year at school our teachers would record each member of our class saying “When I grow up I want to be a…” Our ideas changed from year to year. My teacher’s favourite goal in my case, was when I was seven. I claimed “When I grow up I want to be a sculpture.” I had not realized I meant a sculptor. But prior to that, I had stated with conviction, “When I grow up I want to be a farmer’s wife”. My view of how my life would turn out all changed when I was 15 and stepped onto a construction site and enrolled as a volunteer for local charities for the first time. I suddenly realized I had no desire to be a Mrs Prime…I wanted freedom to come and go as I pleased. I didn’t want to be tied to anyone or anything, not even an employer. I had to find a balance of course. And the balance for me was first part-time employment and then self-employment so that I could be free to travel on voluntary projects all over the country and then all over the world. As a result, I actually became a slave to the work I was doing on a voluntary basis. A voluntary slavery that I truly loved.
It frightens me that in the summer it will be three years since I have been separated from my life, my world. Will I be back by then? My hope is fading. Which makes me wonder…if I will never make it back to the life that I love…should I start thinking in terms of the way I previously thought the world worked. Find an Ian Prime?…or wait for an Ian Prime? I might be waiting until my dying day.
Anyway…I don’t think you see yourself as an Ian Prime type. I don’t want to presume anything. But you have told me things along the lines of that you just want to enjoy life and pleasures. You seem willing to try almost any new experience. You seem kind of fearless as if you have nothing to lose.
It does kind of scare me that if I don’t make it back to my life and my world (which I am terrified might never happen) then I have nothing to live for. I just have to take one day at a time and appreciate everything and everyone in my life here and be open minded and adventurous about the future. Sometimes all I want is an Ian Prime…I wouldn’t need to be swept off my feet by him. But I do need to belong to him. But if he could just give me a list of jobs to be getting on with, and if he could touch base with me regularly to tell me if I was doing well or if I needed to learn to do things in a better way. I like a little pleasure. But I crave purpose. I need occupation, I need work, I need to have things to do for people I love, or even those I don’t love, I need activity and purpose and a lot of it. I don’t mind how repetitive or mundane that work is. And of course, I thrive when I feel secure and appreciated and loved. How could I not? Yes, it makes me try even harder.
I am waffling Darling….I don’t think you want to be bored with all this. I am not sure even what I am trying to say…except…and please don’t take offence, I don’t think you are an Ian Prime. But I am very grateful that you are letting me be in your life right now. Goodness I am grateful to you. I am loving every moment with you. Yes, just thank you Goldfinch. I don’t think you would have picked me off the shelf in the supermarket, but I am so grateful we both happened to be alone one October evening and had the courage to start a friendly conversation. It has led to many months of joy. I don’t think you want to be my Ian Prime, perhaps you don’t want to be any other woman’s Ian Prime.
Maybe you prefer the James Bond-ness of being a single footloose 40-something, fine figure of a man. But anyway…you are doing what you want to…but you are bringing me great pleasure and happiness.
I would love to be taking you to all the amazing places my family and friends have explored in North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland.
Lots of thoughts in my head I am getting out on the page here…and I am frightened you might not like these thoughts. I have no desire to ever hurt, offend, or annoy you.
Anyway…for now…I will just keep taking one day at a time with you…keep enjoying every moment with you…and try not to worry that I am boring to you because my head does not particularly see beyond a world where I am devoted to volunteering or else to an Ian Prime, who will be the centre of my universe.