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

Sunday, 23 July 2017


The Visitor

(for J.)

He said he was a ‘visitor.’
She didn’t know the expression
but then there was no one to ask:
her world was empty.

It seemed he had come
a long way to see her.

He called himself ‘Love’
and had strange ways
but there was only the past
to compare him with.

He looked out of place
like truth in a bedroom.

Then he spoke of things
called ‘loyalty’ and ‘trust’
and strange rites of passage
but couldn’t stay long.

Her world way dying;
it was time to go.

15 July 1994

This is the last poem for J. for now. She broke off contact and it would be two years before we reconnected. (For the record she phoned me.) In 1996 I wrote her another four poems plus she provided the inspiration for my short story ‘The Pooh Brooch’ and then we parted for good although, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we did run into each other at my mother’s funeral—briefly, very briefly. It was an odd relationship by anyone’s standards and yet it was an important one. I would be exaggerating if I said she saved my life or I saved hers but we provided necessary distraction at a time it was needed. It had the chance of becoming something else but she had a choice to make and she made it. She didn’t pick me and I do think that was the right decision; it certainly worked out for the best. I found her on Facebook a couple of years back and was pleased to see she’s happily married—the same guy, I assume—with grandkids and seems to be living up north, Aberdeen way. I’ve been with Carrie for twenty years and I’m certain we’re far better suited that J. and I would ever have been but I do think it would’ve been interesting for a while.

‘The Pooh Brooch’ incorporates a letter, a lightly-edited copy of the last letter I sent J. The names, of course, have been changed. In the story Jack sends Jill a brooch of Winnie the Pooh hanging from a balloon. In reality it was a cat clinging to a branch.
Dear Jill
It’s hard holding onto things in this life. There’s always something pulling you down. The same can be said of letting go. It’s just as hard to know when to let go or how. You have to decide. You can hang onto what you have and see where the winds of change carry you or you can let go and hope there’s someone there to catch you. If what you have just now is precious then hang on with everything you’ve got but, if you have any doubts, then let go before this thing carries you too far away. I’m still here. Just be sure. 
Love, Jack
You can read the whole story here.

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