Live words are not written in stone. Never can become sometimes, always frequently morphs into never, and so on. If every word we ever spoke or heard was un-erasable, our motion picture existence would freeze into countless frames of a comic strip painted or carved on a wall as long as our lives.
So my romance with T, if you can call it that, didn't end with that midnight conversation. We would never be a couple in any conventional sense - more like a comedy team - but some nights I stay in his bed, walking back to my room in the early morning. And when M is away on her annual visits to relatives, we are alone in the house for a whole week of playful domesticity. "Stop at the Greek's on your way over here, get a packet of bacon and some frozen peas and I'll make you a pie". I love those reassuring instructions but most of all I love his improvisations. At the pub, or someplace else where T holds court, he introduces me:
"This is my wife, she's a Paraguayan Indian. She was adopted by a Russian prince who found her wandering around the docks, six years old, barefoot and mute. He took her home to his wife, they cleaned her up, sent her to posh schools and now she speaks seven languages. I picked her up in Soho, she was lost, asked me if I knew of a Paraguayan cafe where she could drink maté. I'd never heard of maté but I took her to a bar and bought her vodka and she has stuck to me ever since."
The photo below, at a party in the art school where he taught photography, was taken about six years after I first met T. My worshipful and interrogating expression reveals the jealousy I felt during most of that time, the obsessive, relentless jealousy all too familiar to insecure women involved with charismatic men. To the end of his days T unquestionably had it - that je ne sais quoi which draws people in - and I was suspicious of every reasonably attractive female who came within range of his magnetism. Sexual jealousy takes over your mind even more powerfully than desire. It never stops feeding you graphic images of rivals in flagrante with your lover and you become addicted to this self-lacerating drug. What I couldn't see in my jealousy-addicted state was that T's insecurity was far greater than mine and that my feverish fantasies were far from the more prosaic reality.