love always hurts

January 19, 2020

You said, “There’s still time – time to change your mind.”

Remember…?

Your voice was little more than a husky whisper beside my ear. But going back wasn’t an option for me then. What was to happen was fated…inevitable. Like the sunrise or sunset.

I said, “I love you.”

And you said, “Move forward…just a little more…little more. There. I’m going to hurt you now…Hurt you a lot, because I love you. And love always hurts.”

The pain that followed my slow movement against your long body was unlike anything I’d experienced before. Hell fire would touch me less.

Agony.

And, yes, ecstasy too…

You said, “You can cry out if you wish. It’s alright. No one can hear.”

And then that exquisite, excruciating torment eased, slightly. I couldn’t breathe; couldn’t draw breath; but then I could and took short, shallow gulps of air. I realised my mouth was filled with blood where I’d bitten the right side of my cheek and my tongue.

You bent forward to look into my face and smiled. You saw the blood on my lips. Your tongue flicked over my mouth, lasciviously.

“First blood,” you whispered. “Relax for now. It’s going to be a long, long night for you…”

P

pensive

“Always talking of the other world,” he said. “Why not this one?”

“But I meant this world!” she said. “I meant, happy in this world–happy with living people.” She waved her hand as if to embrace the miscellaneous company, the young, the old, the dancers, the talkers; Miriam with her pink bows, and the Indian in his turban. Peggy sank back against the wall. Happy in this world, she thought, happy with living people!

The music stopped. The young man who had been putting records on the gramophone had walked off. The couples broke apart and began to push their way through the door. They were going to eat perhaps; they were going to stream out into the back garden and sit on hard sooty chairs. The music which had been cutting grooves in her mind had ceased. There was a lull – a silence.

Far away she heard the sounds of the London night; a horn hooted; a siren wailed on the river. The far-away sounds, the suggestion they brought in of other worlds, indifferent to this world, of people toiling, grinding, in the heart of darkness, in the depths of night, made her say over Eleanor’s words, Happy in this world, happy with living people. But how can one be “happy”? she asked herself, in a world bursting with misery. On every placard at every street corner was Death; or worse – tyranny; brutality; torture; the fall of civilization; the end of freedom. We here, she thought, are only sheltering under a leaf, which will be destroyed. And then Eleanor says the world is better, because two people out of all those millions are “happy.” Her eyes had fixed themselves on the floor; it was empty now save for a wisp of muslin torn from some skirt.

But why do I notice everything? she thought. She shifted her position. Why must I think? She did not want to think. She wished that there were blinds like those in railway carriages that came down over the light and hooded the mind. The blue blind that one pulls down on a night journey, she thought. Thinking was torment; why not give up thinking, and drift and dream? But the misery of the world, she thought, forces me to think. Or was that a pose? Was she not seeing herself in the becoming attitude of one who points to his bleeding heart? to whom the miseries of the world are misery, when in fact, she thought, I do not love my kind. Again she saw the ruby-splashed pavement, and faces mobbed at the door of a picture palace; apathetic, passive faces; the faces of people drugged with cheap pleasures; who had not even the courage to be themselves, but must dress up, imitate, pretend. And here, in this room, she thought, fixing her eyes on a couple…But I will not think, she repeated; she would force her mind to become a blank and lie back, and accept quietly, tolerantly, whatever came.

Virginia Woolf
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