melancholy

About Men Who Come Back Too Late Because They Don’t Understand How A Woman’s Heart Works

Artwork by Jen Mann

Artwork by Jen Mann

I remember the first time I met him. We were both standing next to a bar. It was dark and crowded and our eyes met.

 I recognized the look in his eyes because it was in my eyes also. Something passionate and dark. A sort of an attraction to purity. No mid tones. Either this way or that way. A reckless approach to life we all must have had at least once, especially in our early youth. He bought me a drink and starting from that point, life was not the same anymore.

Love transforms us, the deeper the love, the deeper the transformation.

I remember all the times we met and that particular night when we met next to the theatre. It was slightly raining and we walked together, my arm holding his arm and him holding the umbrella. Our footsteps echoing in the same rhythm on the empty streets. I remember his sensitivity, his intelligence and that destructive power we shared: passion. I remember our talks and their intensity, how we could have done anything together, except for one thing: bow down in front of convenience.

And now years passed. I talk to him and he says: my wife, my child, my unhappiness. I took a normal path in life. I still love you. And my heart squeezes a bit. I remember his father, me eating biscuits with him for breakfast after a sleepless night. Him telling me all over again that my eyes remind him of Catherine Deneuve and that I should not bow down in front of life. You are stronger then this coward that is my son, he says. We laugh and eat another biscuit. Two generations of bohemians sitting in the same kitchen.


And now he says: I have a son. I still love you.

I remember the day when we drank cheap cognac in a bar next to the train station and me carrying a constant fear in my chest. I was very close to disintegration once, this is why I can endure many things now. I remember a certain morning. The window was open and I could hear the birds. I always liked to wait for the dawn. For those birds only. He caressed my arms for hours and maybe then he understood that what I need is tenderness, not passion. I wonder if it was the last time I saw him. My memory became foggy.

There are people who will always think you remained at the age they last saw you. I am 28 now. And I tell him: there are times when I feel alone, but it’s better like this, I have freedom. I might end up an old lady with many cats, but I like cats anyway and I did too many compromises in life, I am doing none. He says: go on living your legend. But don’t get married, when you will be old and tired of too many experiences, I will ask you to marry me.

My heart squeezes, I think about his father and his son and my passionate way of being. All I could say is this: I do care for you and always will, but if my passion burnt down, I do not come back. Think about here and now, it’s everything that matters. I trust my destiny and life made us meet again so that I could tell you this: I found light and I have hope. And if you look inside yourself, you might find it also.

All the men in my life ended up coming back to me at some point, but what surprises me and saddens me at the same time is that they all ended up coming back too late. My artwork is orientated on emotions. Writing about how I feel is a feminine approach to understanding life. But we all have feelings, don’t we? I am sure there are many women out there resonating with my words, but reading my stories might be intresting for men as well in order to get an insight of the way women psychology works. I have never been a feminist, I believe men and women should be equal in rights and opportunities, but we are fundamentally different in the way we behave or react. We are not supposed to lead wars against each other, but to complete each other. My artwork is feminine, not feminist.

This is a story about men who came back too late because they did not understand how a woman’s heart work.

There are ten thousand ways to fight bitterness and ten thousand ways to avoid resentment and frustration, but then, there are words that should reach the person they are meant for. It might come easy to withdraw inside oneself and get covered in numerous protective layers of dignity. If your ego bleeds and you won’t let your wounds speak, you will eventually drawn. All the unspoken words are like arrows that come back to us and sting our hearts. It is human to feel hurt and it is human as well to speak about this. Broken communication leads to a broken heart. A broken heart can be healed ofcourse, the heart is a delicate mechanism, I think about those anatomical diagrams, red coming in and blue coming out. Blue because the blood comes out carrying oxygen and we all know that life is about breathing. I believe all the illnesses are a consequence of unbalance and that includes of course, heartaches.

Where were you when I needed you? What were you doing all the times when I called for you and my voice echoed in the desert? And why do men always think that when they decide to come back, they find the same person they abandoned? Imagine you are looking at a tree, at all the beautiful ochre shades of its autumn leaves. And then imagine you turn away your look for a little while and when your eyes come back to look at the tree, there is nothing there anymore. Meanwhile, the wood of the tree transformed into a book. And everything that was there for you to see, will just belong to the memory from now on. Our memory is a space so translucent and feathery. But still so vivid because all the things that existed at some point go on existening in that other life we could have lived, but we didn’t.

All the waiting in vain in those times when my heart was still open. All the questions, the doubts, the loneliness. The hope. If you do love me, why don’t you tell me? Because otherwise I will just end believing that you really don’t. As long as you still have the capacity to trigger an emotion inside me, there is the possibility that I might come back to a love affair that belongs to the past. But if you decide to come back after I already managed to put structure inside my emotions, it might be too late. I make my decisions based on how a certain situation would make me feel and that is what makes us, men and women be different. If the day when you decide to come back, the only emotion I have left is the potentional feeling of unease, as if going back to the past would be just an extra weight put around my neck, given all the emotions I passed through during your absence, be sure I will not come back. It would not be revange or cruelty, but just the realisation of the fact that life can go on without you in the same way it already did.

I broke up with my ex-boyfriend when I was truly convinced there was nothing left there, when I realised the balance will always be inclided towards sadness and frustration with him. It was when I understood I do not deserve all that unhappiness that I was able to step away telling myself: I tried enough, may life be kind to me from now on.

After some time, he tried to reach me again. He said we should get back together because we will never manage to know someone else as well as we knew each other. He claimed he regretted everything, but I could not forget the bruises on my wrists and on my heart. When I told him to fuck off for the last time, it was the night when he sent me a poem about dreams of murder. He said what’s the matter dear, don’t you know E.E. Cummings? And then I knew: I was afraid, I feared him as I feared myself, I wish I never wasted my years, hiding from him in the same room. The night when I told him to fuck off for the last time, I have been having wine and smoking, floating for a few days, as if living inside a poetry about dreams of killing time. I said what’s the matter dear, don’t you know myself, I always mean when I say something. I used to be afraid, but I am not anymore. The night when I told him to fuck off for the last time, he said I’m sorry and I said I don’t care, I met someone. He called me cruel. And I don’t even like poems about dreams of murder.

Laura Livia Grigore is a poet, painter and psychology enthusiast, with a background in space engineering. She likes to experiment with various mediums and types of writing. Her artwork is orientated on emotions, reflecting her opinion that most of the answers we need can be found inside ourselves, although the hardest thing to do is to be sincere with oneself.

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