Love letter from a drunk: COVID-19 be damned
I HAVE always been hopeless with this sort of stuff, so I will just come right out and say it.
I miss you.
Months have passed since I felt your loving embrace on that warm, fateful evening - the magical night before everything changed.
It began like any other Friday.
Work was over and I could finally unwind the only way that felt natural, swathed in your gentle caress.
Barely a moment had passed since my escape from the office and we were back together at last.
Our paths had not crossed for a week - save that furtive lunchtime tryst we kept secret from my wife - but it felt like an age.
Rome could have been built, razed and gloriously lifted from the rubble, it seemed, in the excruciating period of our separation.
And yet in a purely temporal sense, it was barely a few days.
Such was our passion - and let me tell you, my Aphrodite, those ardent embers still burn a maniacal scarlet with each passing moment.
If we knew what treachery lay around the corner, perhaps we would have acted differently.
But what practical use is retrospect to us now?
As Homer declared, even a fool may be wise after the event.
Let us not yet dwell on the misfortune that forced us into this wretched estrangement.
There will be time for that, my enchantress.
For the present we must focus on the gorgeous and impossible memories we share, that they may keep our torturer at bay.
I fear it will be as futile as trying to un-ring a bell, but I am willing to try anything in this cursed state.
It was just you and me, that night, with a pleasant tropical breeze blowing sweetly through the window.
Drinks were flowing, glasses were clinking, and you chose Darryl Braithwaite's The Horses, Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer and a strange ditty in which a woman insisted she would "put (her) thang down, flip it and reverse it".
There was that galling moment when a table of young ruffians inexplicably dropped their trousers when Eagle Rock came on.
It was a most ungentlemanly scene, but you did not seem to mind, and so I let it pass without comment - although I did fire off a withering furrowed eyebrow that I'm certain landed on its mark.
You watched affectionately while I ate a steak with chips but you did not want anything for yourself.
You were happy just to be and I was intoxicated by your very presence.
The evening drew on and we had never felt more alive, there in each others' company with blood and beer coursing through our veins.
Just the thought of your exhilarating scent that evening, tinged with tobacco smoke and faint, pale sweat, puts a fire in my loins even now.
If you had asked me in that moment, I would have said we were inseparable.
Alas, only lunatics are immune to reality, and try though we might, there are certain truths we cannot escape.
You have your life, I have mine.
Any man who thinks he can tame a wild creature such as you is a fool, though God knows I tried.
At least for those fleeting moments, we were one.
What happened next was beyond either of our control, but damn it all, I wonder how I can possibly survive another instant.
We must be strong, we must cling to the hope that some day, surely, we will be reunited.
Anything else would be too much to bear, my queen.
There was a moment on that night, as I sat there wrapped in your rousing glow, when I almost said the three words I longed to utter.
They flickered on my lips but evaporated in a cloud of cowardice at the very threshold.
I must say them now and announce it to the world or I shall never forgive myself.
To hell with the consequences!
Here goes nothing …
I love you, the pub.
Originally published as Love letter from a drunk: COVID-19 be damned