‘Time waits for no man but true love lasts forever.’
Well, except when it doesn’t.
Because lets face it I am sure we have all ‘fallen in true love’ a few times, at some point.
You know, back in our histories, back when true love didn’t involve cleaning vomit out of our eyelashes at 3am, we must have all, at some point, lay in our beds at the age of 19 or 13 or whatever and fantasized and Romancasized (and other words ending in ‘sized,’) about this ‘one true love’ we just met!!!
And we all also no doubt whittled away countless hours day dreaming happily and excitedly to ourselves before falling in to a contented sleep about this amazing ‘true love’ who we had totally ‘fallen for’ who we really believed was the dogs gingganggooli’s.
(Sorry. I could have just written the ‘dogs bollocks’, but I have been trying to get ging gang gooli’s in a post for so long now and I saw this as my opportunity. Go on… it’s ok. Sing the song! I am! Ging gang goooli goooli goooli gooli gooli, ging gang goo, ging gang goo!)
Because that’s what girls do!! It’s the whole fairytale thing!
‘This is it. This person is ‘the one! THIS is TRUE LOVE’ we surely have all smiled to ourselves excitedly in bed, picturing the wedding and the ring and, well usually I would think about how fabulous and drunken my hen party would be but whatever, this isn’t about me, this is about us, ‘this person is the one!!!’
Me and you. We have all done it.
Me as in the one writing this, and you as in the one reading it. Ok? Admit it. Even if it was Jason Donovan you were picturing, you pictured it. I know you did. You did? Right?
And now we, (us) can undoubtedly and inevitably look back on those failed flings and relationships and think ‘how did I not see back when I was with him that he had a penchant for, I don’t know, watching animals fornicate or something. (Seriously reader, you have been out with some right weirdo’s!!) How could I have not seen what an absolute Tool he was back when I first starting dating him?’ and we shudder and carry on washing up, changing a nappy, cleaning up sick bleary eyed or talking to the wall or something.
So the tagline for the film ‘Forever Young’ a 1992 classic starring Mel Gibson, (bear with me this will all make sense in a second) isn’t exactly true but whatever, I am willing to overlook that for the purpose of this post.
Have you ever felt homesick for a time that has passed?
Mel Gibson is a soldier or something, don’t quote me on that, and in this breath catching, stress popcorn eating film, he basically asks his friend to freeze him cos he thinks his girlfriend is dead. (As you do) Which his friend actually does for him (FYI- what kind of friend does that?? Why couldn’t he just, I don’t know, let him grieve at the pub or whatever? And seriously! Who has a person freezing machine handy anyway?! ‘Oh come in, make yourself at home! This is not a sunbed no! It’s my cryogenic coffin, just in case you fancy becoming an ice pop later!!’ I mean it is so bizarre but anyway.) What ends up happening (spoiler alert!) is that he wakes up forty years later in 1992 (which is such a coincidence cos that’s the year they made the film) and his whole world has zoomed on forty years and it turns out his girlfriend wasn’t even dead and they find each other, and well she turns in to a frog. (That last bit may not be true but I didn’t want to ruin it for you if you hadn’t seen it.)
But basically the point I am making is, that is how I have felt for the last two weeks while I have been ‘home’ in Spain. (But without the dead girlfriend, the frog and the friend who wants to cryogenically freeze me. Because with friends like that, who needs enemies??)
I sat on my dad’s wall one night while I was there, staring at the coastline lit up by the clear night sky, legs dangling down on to the rocky mountain below, glass of wine in hand and feeling a bit well… melancholy.
The silence, as I sat there, drinking it all in, was only broken by the odd echo of a car horn in the distance and the ever present night time sound, the deep hum that gives away the baseline to a party that is no doubt happening somewhere without you.
It came as a shock to me right then, with the palm trees rustling and blowing in the wind beside me to my left, and the humid air dancing around my shoulders, that I had been homesick for a very long time.
It was overwhelming how acutely this speared through me.
I must (seriously!!!) be an idiot not to realise how homesick I have been. Why has this never come up in therapy? Had I blocked it out because it was just too painful? Or was I really, just a flipping idiot, and had not realised?
Every light, every car horn and every twinkle has a memory attached, but, but… it isn’t the same as it was… everything has moved on, has changed, has evolved.
I pressed the side of my forehead against the cool air-conditioned car window as we weaved down strange roads during the daytime, roads, streets and alleyways, which I used to know and adore, like family.
Every corner had a memory attached, every smell made me inadvertently close my eyes, breath in and secretly smile to myself.
But when I would open my eyes, having seen and felt myself so vibrantly in the moments of the past, heartbreakingly, everything was different and I couldn’t recognise the place it now was.
Different school children running down the street, not my friends or their younger siblings, instead faces I would never know, could never have known, and would never recognise.
10 years have passed.
How could 10 years have passed?
My friends all grown up now, and with children who vomit on them at 3am, all of their own.
The flats where I lived, where I spent my happiest years, demolished. A Starbucks and a shopping center instead, stood majestically and polished in the place where I laid my head every night, and grew up.*
That night I sat on that bloody mountain (with my ever present glass of wine) and I re-lived the way it was.
I took in as many deep breaths as I could and I smiled.
I remembered the laughter (3 girls all squished on my moped piss drunk at the age of 14?) and I laughed.
I remembered the tears (1 of the 3 girls crashing my moped because she encountered a rock and didn’t know what to do – DRIVE OVER IT LAURA!) and I cried for the way it was, for the times I didn’t appreciate until right at that instant.
I remembered my home, when it was my home and I was sad. Sad that now people were drinking frozen Frappuccino’s in the exact place where we buried the dog. *
And maybe it was never as perfect as I remembered it, but if I could just go back and touch it, revisit it, for just one evening, I would.
My childhood. (The good bit.)
Because I miss it, and I am pretty sure that is how Mel Gibson must have felt when he woke up after 40 years of being a human choc-ice, and found out his girlfriend used to be a tadpole and he had made a stupid choice and missed all the bits in between. (Like the bit where she grew legs and hopped out of the pond.)
Before I licked the wine glass clean though, I caught sight of the stars.
And I smiled.
The stars were still exactly the same.
(Look reader, if you study astrology then you are probably dying to comment right now and tell me that they aren’t the same as they were 10 years ago, as we see them how they are five years ago or something, but I am asking you nicely not to ok? I need the stars to be the same SO JUST LET ME THINK THEY ARE THE DAMN SAME, OK?)
The stars, I noticed, were still EXACTLY THE SAME. Still winking mischievously at me, and cleverly reminding me that I can see them from where ever I am, at any time. (Obviously not in the mornings, but you know what I mean.) And that I carry my memories with me. And they can never be stolen. (Except maybe by dementia, but let’s just ignore that for the moment.)
The stars reminded me of one simple truth, and eased my pain.
Home, is now, and will forever more be, wherever Addison is.
And that is the future for us to carve.
And that, Dear reader is fine with me.
*Why does Addison only every vomit at 3 am?
*How cool is that??? A Starbucks where I used to live!!! Its destiny is what it is!!! I’m like Mel Gibson! Maybe true love doesn’t die?? MAYBE STARBUCKS IS MY TRUE LOVE!!! Oh my god!!! It’s a total sign!!!!
** Not Doodle. Doodle is alive and well. Just so you know I would never bury Doodle while he was still alive. Well not totally anyway, having fun in the sandpit doesn’t count does it? DOES IT?