Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday, 31 July 2016



No, it's not love.
At least not what you would call love.
But it feels like love.
And it hurts like love.
And why can't you see it?
It's not invisible.
It's as real as we are –
maybe even more so.

25 July 1989

I suspect this is a poem for and about B. but it would’ve been too obvious to include a dedication. The older I get the more of a problem I find I have with love. Especially the ‘in’ variety. You’re supposed to only be allowed—or maybe the word’s ‘able’—to be in love with one person at a time and yet in my experience you can’t simply switch from in love to not in love; it doesn’t work like that; there’s overlap.

There are things you’re not supposed to be able to do or feel when you’re in love. That’s how you know it’s in love and not some other kind of love. So what kind of love did I have for B.? Basically it was a crush and I knew it was a crush. So what’s a crush? Does a crush mimic love? When I was a kid I couldn’t tell the difference but the crushes didn’t last that long; my libido was easily distracted. As I grew older I started to see crushes for what they were, fantasies, pleasant distractions. As a poet I was already in a constantly distracted state; no one ever got a hundred percent of me. Adding a crush into the mix only complicated my relationships with those I actually loved. 

“I thought what we had was real.” How many times have you heard someone say something like that? Reality is something else I have problems with. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist but what I am saying is that my perception of reality is probably not the same as your perception of reality. We all live in fantasy worlds. It’s just some are less fantastic than others, those with vivid imaginations. A few times in my life people have pointed out things about me that I thought I’d kept hidden. Not necessarily big things but things I preferred to keep to myself. How could they possibly know? Because I had my head in sand. Which proved to be the case with B. ultimately.


Kass said...

I like this.

What is IT from which we feel we need to be so pleasantly distracted?

Jim Murdoch said...

It, Kass, is one of so many things that doesn’t have a name and so we make do. I have a pretty decent vocabulary—hell, you’ve read The More Things Change so you know I do—but you wouldn’t believe the number of times I struggle to find a word to fill a space in a sentence in my head. There simply aren’t enough words for forms of words. With that in mind you might find The Emotionary a bit of fun. It’s the brainchild/hobby of the actress Eden Sher best known for playing ‘Sue Heck’ in The Middle and it’s coming out in book form in October.

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