This week’s Quote Quest is a quote from Hunter S Thompson, and I’m choosing to join in with it because I have never heard the quote before, and when I saw it I immediately hated it with a passion as hot as the sun. Here’s the quote: “Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.” I know the fabulous Little Switch Bitch, who runs the Quote Quest meme, picks quotes to spark interesting debate and discussion, so I’m gonna crack my knuckles and get stuck in.
I’m drafting this post at my ex-boyfriend‘s flat. There’s something pleasingly empty about his flat. It’s tiny: his choice. It’s neat and clean and there’s hardly anything in it, besides a fridge full of treat food and drawers full of soft pyjamas and hoodies to which he encourages me to help myself. When I’m here, it feels deliciously like I’m on holiday from the rest of my life.
I don’t sleep in our bedroom any more, I decamped to the spare room months ago. There are too many ghosts in our bedroom now, I do not like being in it. The room in which my ex-boyfriend used to work (and play, and sleep, and live) has long since been closed off: I use the space for drying laundry, but the door to it is firmly shut unless I’m hanging socks. This house is riddled with shadow-versions of him, and most of them congregate in there.
We’re sitting on the balcony in the candlelight, at two o’clock in the morning: my ex and I. And I do not say any of the things I want to say, because there’s no point saying them now. We chat and laugh and are gentle with each other, and he smells really good and he’s beautiful. So I don’t say ‘what the fuck’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ or ‘mate, I fucking loved you.’ When you hang out with your ex, there are certain things you’re just not meant to say.
The first time my heart was broken – and I say this with a fairly solid definition of what heartbreak feels like for me, and how it’s different to a simple, everyday hurt – it felt like the world was going to end. There was too much emotion to hold inside my fragile body, and it stayed for so long that I couldn’t conceive of the possibility that one day it wouldn’t be there any more. This heartbreak – puny and pathetic now I come to think about it – was caused by the wandering, horny eye of an eighteen-year-old boy.