Now that my heart is, at last, broken, I can tell you about him.
On rainy days, I would think about my lover, and there was nothing but flight in my heart. I could conjure up the image, and I would begin to feel that I had life in my veins. I could think straight, and I could love freely, and I was perfect in myself. My obsession was my greatest joy, my comfort when I was down.
My love was Scotland. And not just any Scotland, but the Scotland that I had met, and come to know. My ex-husband had met me long after the affair had begun, and he knew quite well what his competition was. “My lover,” as was the term my ex-husband used. If I was unhappy, it was because I had not seen my lover recently. If I was allowed to continue to meet with my great love, then all could be well in my world. I could continue living the life I had chosen in the place of absolute bliss. But if I did not, I would sulk and wane, as does fabric in the bright sun, fading to a mere shadow of itself. Too much exposure to the wrong elements.
Dramatic? Yes. It felt like that—it was real. My passion for the one place I felt as home, it was sustaining and undivided by everyday reality. No one could touch it, and nothing could be done to alter it, or talk me out of the affair.
Of course, it was a fantasy! It was travel! People all over the world idolize travel, and choose a spot—once they’ve witnessed it on the ground—to fall in love with, and to hurry and return to. I could not imagine it being Fiji or Cartageña. It was Edinburgh. It felt absolutely right, and it gave as much to me as it could, and I was happy to have it. I was fevered with its attention, and at all opportunities would extend my stay. I was determined against all odds it would work out to a panoramic future.
But the rough wooing had occurred long before I was a spot on the horizon. Scotland’s marriage to England was its one true liability. And that marriage could not for now be severed. Every affair has an expiration date. Every mistress has the delusion that the beloved will leave his wife. And we, the lovers are almost always wrong. There is never hope.
[trying out some prose for my upcoming book: Pilgrimoire, a series of Short, Sharp Shocks (working title)]