US and UK – I Lived By the River – Part Seven of Nine

Flashback photo - New York's Central Park ice rink

Flashback photo – New York’s Central Park ice rink

Love is an emotion felt by people for other people and objects, correct? Yes, but before love is shared or expressed, it still exists. I think of love like it’s a mineral deposit buried within good hearts, that waits but for someone or something to come along and do or be something that drills for its precious intangibility. This is why referring to someone apparently incapable of love as cold-hearted is apt, as their love cannot flow and instead remains stored rigidly in their (figuratively) not beating heart, perhaps until death. Or maybe many of the cold-hearted in fact have no love. For some, among whom I’d count myself, the opposite is true. Some have more love stored in their breast than could possibly be wholly captured by another. And such a burden can weigh heavily on such people, if few people other than members of their family desire to tap into the bursting love reservoir with their own affection. It is of the utmost importance that love is never confused for desire or lust or passion, because such dispositions are selfish even if through their mutual expression they can be beneficial for the person, persons, object or objects toward which they are directed. Love is the purest and most powerful thing in the universe. In fact if the love held and shared by every emotionally capable creature in the cosmos was translated into destructive power it could destroy the universe twice over. Of course genuine love could never be anything but a positive and constructive emotion, even if it is not reciprocated. Indeed people’s love for objects or pastimes, such as books and reading and writing, can never really be returned in any manner other than the way a mirror reflects images. A writer may feel love for his or her readers, but in most cases unless he or she knows them personally this love will only be conveyed indirectly through his or her written words. Just as there is no greater feeling than to love and be loved, there can be no worse emotional wound than that created by a loved one saying or indicating that they do not want your love, or in any event have none to return. Such tragedies echo in humankind’s oldest annals.

My point? You may be wondering. Simple: sometime during my time in Dublin which I visited the day after where I’m presently at – London – in this story, Emma, not content with her simple yet somewhat devastating rejection, unfriended me from Facebook. Cry melodrama, if you will. But anyone familiar with the nature and development of social media would probably agree a Facebook friends list removal by a failed love interest is pretty breathtakingly powerful stuff. I guess, though I didn’t dishonour myself by directly commenting on it, she must have sensed the temporary bitterness in my status updates during the week or two after she’d spurned me, and had had enough. Fair, I guess, enough. I have no justification for mentioning this other than because I was, many months later and back home, thinking about it. Plus presently I’ve just returned to Blackheath from a lonely and unsuccessful quest to watch a movie about a quest – The Hobbit – at London’s Leicester Square. Perhaps it was an exaggeration to write “even The Inbetweeners couldn’t cheer me up”, but surely you get my point. Next morning I felt like ice skating. It was a passion I’d acquired in New York which refreshed pleasant memories I had of the preciously small amount of time I’d shared with Emma. Before that I had only skated twice in my life: once as a child at Pacific Fair shopping centre on the Gold Coast, where and when I spent most of my time on my arse; and once at Bundall (again on the Coast) at an indoor rink I skated well at with my first girlfriend. She was hopeless at it, by the way. But it was somewhat romantic and chivalrous to have her intensely gripping my hand in fear as we limped in love across the ice. After enjoying it in both the US’s New York and UK’s Brighton, I’d gotten pretty good, even if I do say so myself. Which I do. So after figuring out there was a rink at Canary Wharf, just across the Thames from Greenwich, I had my destination. Aside from the fact that love for or from or sex with a beautiful – and I don’t only mean physically – woman surely cannot be knocked off the apex of any heterosexual man’s pleasure ranking system; the act of being in and exploring and listening to and smelling and hearing and feeling and tasting a place I’ve never been to is surely the purest enjoyment I could ever experience. It’s not just about the consistent and sometimes destructive human desire for infinitely more, it’s about the new. I’m comforted as we all are by the familiar, but life without an occasional new experience is in no way worth living. We live in a world where everything has kind of been done, but that does not take away from the dazzling inspiration and happiness that can result from new experiences. You might say I love it. But you should also keep in mind no matter how much love I have for the new, I will always have plenty of love left for one woman. Selfless love. The sort of love that, however clichéd a sentiment it might be, would have me genuinely capable of sacrificing my life if necessary for hers to be ongoing. With such fanciful ideals possibly swimming in my head after a good night’s sleep, I set out for the personally uncharted territory of Canary Wharf, through barely familiar Greenwich Park.

Somerset House Ice Rink

Somerset House Ice Rink

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