Most relationships are about role-playing. The underlying mechanism being: I will play the role you want me to play as long you fulfil my needs. It’s tiresome to play a role. It’s hard work to keep it up. The role-playing becomes strenuous, more artificial, it collapses, the relationship becomes vicious. Some quit the role-playing and evolve into something bigger, some just quit the relationship and move on to a new kind of role-playing with someone else.
We evolved. We chose to be 100 percent honest to each other. It goes from unimportant confessions like ‘I’m horny and want to fuck the next beautiful girl I meet’ to more important and more difficult and more humbling confessions like ‘I did nothing all day, I played a computer game all day’
The basis for our relationship, is that I find you, that to my eyes you are, the most beautiful woman. You may label that as a very superficial basis, but it isn’t. There is something in your bone stucture I find tantalizing, mesmerizing, I never grow tired of it. It’s an image I have internalized. Will I still think you’re beautiful when you’re 64? It’s highly likely. I’ll see the young you in the human clay that will have lost its elasticity. For starters, if you hadn’t been so beautiful I would never have bothered to get to know you. How caring you are, considerate, patient, funny, how you almost never raise your voice, how sweet you are, without being fragile, how determined and stubborn when you set a goal for yourself, how disciplined, how you never set out to harm somebody, how sensitive you are, how well you read people, how at peace you are with life, how good you are at being alive, how very buddhist you are, without being a buddhist, how hot you are in bed, how exclusive you are, how loyal and committed and how supportive and how you are always looking for meaning and depth, how unassuming you are, and how much you like and appreciate truthfulness.
In all honesty your beauty is the basis from which all else is possible. I can be honest about other women, because I’ll never leave you, I’m never looking to replace you, there’s no hidden gem lurking round the corner. Esthetically speaking you satisfy me completely. And if I want to have you by my side, you ask full honesty. Heminway once said: ‘lies will kill love, but honesty will kill it quicker’ I’ve always believed that, but it’s bullshit. I find it surprisingly easy with you. What make it possible, I think, is that I know better doesn’t exist. And you are not the most beautiful woman I think I can get. No, you are the most beautiful woman. Period. At the very least to my eyes. You’ve stopped fighting against that statement and accepted it.
When a woman feels treasured as the most beautiful certain things happen. It becomes extremely easy to be with her. There’s no viciousness, no psychological games, you are never out to punish me for things I didn’t do, you feel you are enough for me, you’re not out to make my life a living hell for subconsciously activating your insecurities. And I’m glad. We avoid the wars that go with couples. If every man who wakes up tomorrow, next to a woman who he doesn’t think is the most beautiful sight he’s ever looked at, would leave, a lot of passive-aggressive violence could be avoided.
You read this entire alphabet. And you are most likely the only one who enjoys reading it and looks forward to the next chapter. You know my entire history. Including the three or four months I was somehow trying to keep two relationships going. That episode where all your friends urged you to break up with me. And you feel justified now, because when they see us now, they can tell it was the right decision to keep going. If it was a decision.
It wasn’t my conscious decision to be attracted to you. You were there in front of me, at your desk with the other students. You looked like part of some other world, a phantasy world where there is almost no evil, and the little evil that exists is only there to keep the joy of forgiveness and making peace alive. You were there, all virgin-like. And that rare quality of looking like you could be a model, but not realizing it.
And the day I deciced to do something about my attraction, was also the day I heard you say you were going to study abroad. In Germany. You were leaving before we even had the chance to get to know each other. That wasn’t the only problem.
When I looked at you all my cumbersome insecurities (described in X) arose. I stalled. Once I let you win a contest in class, so I could give you a prize. Books. You came to pick them out in my tiny office. You took a long time to pick out a book. You asked advice. You were expecting me to ask your phone number. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. I just wanted to let you win that contest. It was a few weeks before I got vigorous and said: if you want her that much, than fuck insecurities and get her. Do all it takes.
First of all I took the entire class to a bar. I chose the worst moment to ask your phone number. When they all could hear. I used one of my more classic excuses. I asked if you wanted to do sketches for a children’s story I was writing. I heard you say you were good at drawing. I waited the minimal pick-up artist time to do something with your number. Two days. I asked if you had msn messenger and if you had time. You said you didn’t have msn messenger. But you did have time.
Discussing sketches quickly became an invitation to come over for dinner in my room at the faculty. You declined. You turned it into a walk. We went for a long walk one week later, after class. At the end of which we sat on a bench. In the rain. In the cold. You didn’t want to go to a bar. You didn’t want to go to a restaurant. I asked if I could hold you. The answer was yes. But you avoided any attempt at kissing. And when I asked if you felt anything at all. You said you felt absolutely nothing.
I walked you to your dormitory and at goodbye I simply said ‘bye’ like I couldn’t care less. And walking back to my room I felt devasted. I had broken every pick-up artist rule, come on too strongly, had thrown myself at your feet, had stared at you for ages with needy puppy eyes. The only tactically sound response I could come up with now, was silence. The seduction rule says: ignore her till she contacts you. Which you did, two days later. One week later you were on a swing in a children’s park and you said: “If you want me, you’ll have to fight for me.” The day before that we watched a movie in my room. “My blueberry nights”, one of your favorites. We got to more than kissing. But you wanted to leave after a while. I threw my last clinging to any pick-up artist methodology out the window and begged you to stay till dawn. Which you did. I slept, you stared in the dark, in that very small dormitory bed. I was sleeping like a log. I had gotten up at 4 am that day. I had to travel half the country to teach you.
I did have to fight for you. I’ve travelled to several countries, and several very remote places to be with you, sometimes only for two or three nights. Since we are together we’ve spent way more time apart than together. A 4:1 ratio would be putting it optimistically.
There were times I lived with women day in day out, and I cheated them with other women living two or three blocks away. There’s 1200 kilometers between us and except for a brief stretch in the beginning I don’t cheat on you. Not once. And the times I had the intention to do so, I’ve told you in advance, every time. Purely hormone driven intentions. But my faithfulness to you is not what defines our relationship, certainly not to me. In my eyes it doesn’t say anything about my love for you whether I sleep with ten or twenty girls in the moments we are apart. The fact that it would hurt you, less than what you might think, does stop me, but if I wanted to do it, I would. But I don’t.
I’m too tired to do it. After years of lying I’ve become very fond of honesty, transparancy and above all of causing no harm. I can get a girl to have sex with. What I can’t get is a girl who will be ok with having sex and knowing that she’s just a poor substitute for you. And having got attached to honesty and very respectful of the law of karma, the only religious concept I believe in, I won’t pretend I’m single.
I don’t need to prove I love you. That’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this to get closure, maybe as a final parting letter to the child in me. You know I love you. But what is love? Passionate possessiveness? That’s what love is in most cases. I love you as long as you give me what I need and if you don’t my ‘love’ will instantly turn to hatred. There’s a certain amount of letting go in real love. I’m comitted to see you grow. I don’t ask what I can get out of you, I ask what I can mean to you. The more I let you go, the more attached you seem to grow, the less I ask of you, the more you give me. It took me a course of crashing and burning to embrace that attitude. With you it comes naturally. There’s a wisdom inside you, I have to drain tons of books for. You simply have it.
You are down to earth. In touch with your surroundings, in symbiosis with the here and now. I am way up in the air or way down in the dirt, I am anything but in touch with your surroundings, and the here and now is very rarely where I want to be. If I’m an erratic hotair balloon, you are my anker. If I am the arrow, you are the bow. If I am the wind-hungry sail, you are the boat. You love live, I dread it. You fear death, I fear life.
I am restless, dissatisfied, egotistic (which luckily isn’t quite the same as being selfish) and nervous, even jumpy, always longing for more, more, more, you are cool, calm, collected and at one with life as it is, enjoying what is, not demanding what isn’t.
You give me peace. You are my zen master. No wonder we put ‘Everything Zen’ by Bush on repeat. You like slow music, and slow music is torture to me. I need music that conveys a sense of moving forward, always forward. And you look at my attitude and think with a furrowed brow: forward to where? Over the edge of the cliff? Yes, I would prefer plunging over a cliff at high velocity over standing still. I dread nothing more than standing still. You teach me, or try to teach me, that there is nowhere to move to. That we have already arrived. That we are here in the now. The now is all there is. You’ll never know how wise you are. And that is why you are wise.
If life has become a waiting room for me, a waiting room I want to make as cosy as possible till death finally releases me of a world I have for the most part of my life experienced as boring and annoying, you are the one thing that makes me sort of regret that life will end one day. Because death will seperate me from you, because I’ll never live long enough to enjoy all your beauty.
Though you doubt even that, being very religious. You have faith, where I have despair. You have trust and patience, where I have anger and frustration. You have a lot to offer me. And you do every day. You like challenges. I am a challenge. Some unpredictable ego bomb you wish to dismantle and turn into something better. If I’m only half the narcissist I used to be it’s largely due to you and your insights. If this alphabet has an end, it’s your doing, not mine.
While there is harmony in your family, with certain rules and lots of traditions, my family life was always sort of chaotic, libertine, deregulated, loving, very loving, but with manic-depression hanging over it, the bitter taste of frustrated ambitions. You are cheerful and grateful, where I’m sceptical and weary. I shower you with affection for breaking through my self-torturing patterns. And I love you for letting me make you happy and giving me the feeling I am a man. And it’s airly easy to make you happy. It’s really easy to be with you. I don’t think you know how easy it is to be with you.
I’ve grown completely tired of the subject women. I can’t stand to hear about one more tactic to seduce a girl. I only hope I’ll remember enough of them when our sons will be in need of them. You’ll be there to tell them that they don’t need any of those tactics. But they will. Love doesn’t magically happen. I wouldn’t be with you today if I’d never given the strategies to get a woman a very serious thought. It’s a game I’ve outgrown. It was fun while it lasted. The only chance of me every returning to it is when I suddenly find myself a billionaire with absolutely nothing better to do.
You have me, all of me. I won’t promise you much more than that. I give us a very good chance. And you will frown and ask: just a very good chance? I know you are convinced we’ll even be together over the edges of life. I know. That’s fine with me. To the edges of life is more likely in my unreligious mind.
You know, I never planned to get enough ‘material’ to write an alphabet like this. Today, with you, I’m more like I was when I met my first girlfriend. I never planned to jump from one woman to the next. I never thought I’d have threesomes. I didn’t think I could do it. And if I did it was mainly to get back to the feelings I had for my first girlfriend. And now with you, and with more experience, I can. There is no more role-playing, no more game. My first question is no longer: how can I get the next girl? How can I inflate my ego? My first question has become: how can I contribute in a postive way to society? And how to avoid doing things to feed my ego and to do things just because they are worthwhile? You, my opposite in so many ways, much wiser than me, and far more unburdened by the demands of ego, are the only person I have ever met who can guide me through a mature life. One of those bilion glimpses in the universe. Only with you by my side does my hungry glimpse stand a chance at shining brightly, without burning a hole in the canvas.