Said goodbye to German boy this morning in Paris. He walked me to the metro, where I caught the train back to Marnay-sur-Seine. I’m staying in Marnay with L. for two weeks in his house. I spent the past two days in Paris after my residency at Camac ended, going to an all-night rave party, doing errands, seeing my parents. German boy happened to also be staying in Paris for the weekend. I was supposed to go back to Marnay last night, but then German boy called and asked to take a walk or have a drink for an hour before my train, and then I ended up staying the night at his place. At Café Epoch, just down the street from my parents’ place, he opened up about the details of his relationships, which he’s never done before. He told me about his breakup with his daughter’s mother as well as his current girlfriend. We talked about children, having them, not having them. We talked about his daughter. We shared a cheese plate, and had 3 glasses of red wine each. We were both tipsy as usual, I welled up at some point, a combination of my period, wine, and too many goodbyes one after the other, and he looked down, as he often does. It’s a thing he does out of care and respect, I think, and also when he is moved by me or something I am saying. When he agrees on some deep level that transcends words. Afterwards, we walk a block to my parents’ place and my mom came down to the lobby to bring down my bags. He meets her, she meets him. The three of us talk for 10 minutes. I feel like I’ve brought my boyfriend over, someone she will meet again. Someone she is meeting for the future. But he’s not my boyfriend, and this is our last night together. The month of August feels like an entire year. All week long, everyone left one by one. We say goodbye to my mom, and walk over to where he is staying. It turns out to only be a 15 minute walk from my mom and dad’s. But even stranger, the apartment is on a street I walked up and down the entire month of July, during my stay in Paris, visiting my parents. I say, “How weird is this?” He says, “Very weird.” Then we get into the tiniest elevator I’ve ever been in, the kind where even two people is too much, and we are laughing because it’s so cramped, we are squished together and touching. Both tall. Then at the door, I say again, “How weird is this on a scale of 1 to 10?” And he says, “You with your scales for everything. It’s very weird. Like a 10.” I say, “10?! Really?” Like it’s the jackpot. And then he shows me the flat, which he loves: all the books, all the rooms, the pictures, the balcony, the view. We stand and look at the street below, shoot videos on our phones, smoke a cigarette. At the apartment, it’s no longer as easy as it was for those two hours at Epoch, wine in us, that emotional weight and closeness that I love feeling with another person. It’s gone again. It’s always come and gone with us. Last week we both admitted it’s because we could never go further. We always had to stop. The next step would have meant being together. The apartment belongs to old friends of the family, two French historians. He shows me my room, pours us a glass of wine. I take one sip, and fall asleep on the couch while he looks at art books on the floor, something he loves to do. Out all night at a techno party in Paris on Friday, we are exhausted, so the promise of “talking all night” was never fulfilled. When I wake up, the room is dark. He is sleeping in his room. I go to mine, the guest room/office. A few nights ago, in the library where we kissed on the floor early on at the residency, we made a verbal contract that we would never kiss or have sex, and we’ve honored the sex part of the arrangement. But the kiss had already happened. Never again, he meant. And when he said goodbye at Les Halles metro station this morning, we hugged for a few seconds, letting go fast, and threw each other kisses with our hands, as I moved to the other side of the turnstile. I was fine, and we were smiling, and it felt light, like maybe we never happened, and our almost-happening never even happened either, because leaving a place and going to a completely different one, sometimes changes a bond, which is sometimes a location. Like all those feelings just evaporated, all that intensity (on my part) relieved. But when I got on the train back to Marnay, and Daft Punk’s “Emotion” came on my headset ten minutes later, I welled up, and welled up, and welled up. Felt his absence, felt the goodbye, the hole he left, the separation, all the time we spent together leading nowhere. How I’ll never see him again. How he drove me crazy, how much I liked him, how much we made each other laugh, how much we laughed, how strange he is, how strange and yet right we somehow were sometimes, how possible it could have been, how maybe there is no way of knowing who will be, who is yours, and why and why not. How so much in my life just doesn’t seem to happen anymore, with anyone, for whatever reason, reasons that have almost killed me. Reasons that are still so hard to bear, though I am bearing them more and more because what else can I do, how else can I live, but eventually the bearing changes even me. This is my pain in life, and I have to learn to bear it. Yesterday, at the health food store, I tell my mom, “I feel like I have no destiny. Everything I have been looking for still hasn’t happened.” What I discover, as I ask around, and talk to different people in different places, is that no one even wants love anymore. Flat out state, “No, I don’t want it. I want to be left alone.” Left alone. Not just alone, but leftalone. They want the disappointment of what eludes us, of what can only be lost, of what has already been lost. The permanent melancholia, mourning and loss in advance not just of losing, but in place of having. In place of being with. I am already alone, so let me stay in this aloneness. There is nowhere else to go. And I don’t understand how anyone can want to be alone when we are already so alone. When we can’t really ever know or feel ourselves unless we feel and know others. Unless we strive for this, reach for this, go for this. When today there is less connection, less time, less intimacy, less security, less love. How much more loneliness, isolation, and alienation can we possibly stand, live with, bear, court? Why can’t anyone really reach anyone? Why doesn’t anyone want to be reached? Why can’t we break down each other’s isolation, our terrible shells? Why doesn’t it take love anymore? For if not love, then what? Why when people find each other, do they want to go the other way? Not towards, or for, but away.