EIGHTEEN

After the letter my feelings for Tae became more defined, more reckless. My soul came apart. I had nowhere to go but inward. Sometimes the world was too painful for me to endure. I needed to bond with Tae like I needed to breathe. It would pass. It would leave me in darkness. My life was void from the start. There was nothing anywhere to hold to that had any meaning. I waited for the letter to arrive. I could not avoid it, being human, though I should’ve remained in the realm of the Gods, they had no use for me. I was supposed to suffer, to dredge up all of the black. It was what Gods were made of.

 

After a terrible weekend I moved with more freedom through the misery of waiting. It didn’t matter as much what she would do. I knew her heart. Endless flowing, whatever her determination, but, when she didn’t respond for two weeks, I began to sink into a new reality that didn’t include her. I feared to remain connected. It was lethal, what nature had worked so hard to grow between us had to be yanked out by the roots and allowed to die, and there were always parts that remained. With Tae it was especially difficult, as it had gone so deep, into my deep practice and through to the eternal. I was playing with elemental forces that no one knew anything about, burning with a person who wasn’t aware of it! It was unstoppable. She was with me all through the rounds of sitting, all types of scenes, real and imagined. At the height of the swell of love I realized that human love was only a single wave in an infinite sea – a human love, but I was human, and human things, though tiny in scale, were important.

 

There was something wrong. The love between us, it wasn’t mutual. After all we’d been through together… I didn’t understand. Maybe there was some other reason she didn’t write but I couldn’t grasp it. I could write 100 letters a day.


“The One Mind doesn’t wait on anything.”


The only way to live was by the flame, the One. There was no other flame that would last the night. The connections were vast. Each one created a forest of connections in front of it. It was truly buried. Tae’s decision had the immediate effect of drawing the color from my world, causing me to discard all that was so precious to me, all of it turned worthless. I was reduced to a pile of jelly. I could hardly function. Why do women have so much power over us? I tore out what I could and fell to my knees, to the forest floor, like Molloy, like nothing.

 

Through endless rounds of meditation I begged again and again to be consumed, “take me, please, take me…” It was absurd, this staring into the mouth of creation begging for it to cease. I gave all of my life, everything that appeared – Tae, everything about her, she was insidious, grown into me to me so deeply. Finally I paced the hall like some dark Angel, caring only for others because there was no way to continue. It was too bleak. I could only work to make use of the life I was born into — not for me. It was over for me.

 

The letter was misconceived. I had no right to interfere with her life. I should’ve remained quiet and hid in the forest. The only love I had was the perverted love of my gay stalker, who made every attempt to force contact with me, like some kind of evil destiny. He’d move my shoes next to his, mix up our bedding, lurk around me while I was trying to rest, run to his locker when I went to mine. He was always plotting to have some meaningless contact. I absolutely hated it. It made my situation with Tae seem cheap and calculated. The pain and misery of this world!

 

During the ango I was having a meltdown because she didn’t respond when I needed her. She denied me, so there was a part of her that was closed off. She absolutely didn’t care. This part I couldn’t understand, because she was so happy to be around me. Was it only on the surface? How can things exist in only part of a person? Is a woman divided into separate selves?

 

I couldn’t develop a spiritual love that was one-sided. No deity, no shaman drum beating our union, no bond, no life. I was to return to darkness. I was to write the story of despair, the story of my life. Only a moment could be pulled out of the darkness that wasn’t ruined. Terrible world. The practice was progressing flawlessly. I was hurt and abandoned and weak, malnourished, on the wrong side of love.

 

The afternoon meditation was aflame with all of this. I was caught between rapture and despair, pleading for my release. Why had I spent so much time with her? It was so intense. I had no choice but to fall into the deep well, and no way out. I would’ve given my own life, but it remained the same as I’d left it, nothing that could be determined. My life wasn’t mine. It was some miracle of time and too many wrong choices. A dead end, it still had to play out inexorably. The DNA would not combine, the work alone would survive, it was all that I had.

 

Tae and Sangmi, I loved both. There was no question the love remained, but it could not flower into bloom. Sangmi, one of the greatest things produced by this world, was separated from me by multiple barriers: culture, language, teacher/student, religion. There was no physical contact, nothing was ever said. It existed only through symbols, gestures, through the eyes. With Tae, we were together constantly. We had no romantic intentions but she was so compelling, it was impossible not to love her. Anybody would: man or woman, plants, crystalline structures, swimming creatures, fowl, surely anything with legs. You don’t want to spend too much time with a person like that. You’ll lose yourself to her swirling currents even as you deny them, and there’s no way to survive her. It becomes her, the world of things: the buzz of the insects, the rustle of leaves.

Slogging through the mire, sad, lonely color of dusk, no physical contact; the only things said were inadvertent: stories of our childhood, scenes from our lives, and the other would realize how closely we matched. “Oh no…” We knew it was dangerous.


“It’s always like that.”


I was the one to fall. It was the separation that brought her into focus, and the realization that Sangmi was impossible. Tae was radiant when we were together. What could I do? In the long months apart she grew into me to such a degree that when I realized she wasn’t with me, I couldn’t extricate her. I had to kill everything, myself included. It was another end of the world, a world so terribly made, that came apart so easily.