Wow. What a week. Well, what a few weeks to be more precise but the epicentre of the shitstorm which struck my life was located squarely about six days ago. I just realised there are a few people whose grapevines – non-Facebook-ites that they are – aren’t extensive enough to have registered the catastrophe, maybe just picking up hints of the aftershock in my last post.
So, in plainspeak, Em and I split up at the beginning of last week. I’m not going into the details here because it’s none of most people’s business, suffice it to say that I didn’t pull the trigger, although I may have been in some way complicit in loading the gun. She was amazing, a truly wonderful person in every way, and I miss her unimaginably. Right now every last minute is difficult, from rising in the morning to falling back into a fitful, nightmare-ridden sleep after a day which, no matter how interesting and exotic it may seem to the outsider, is to me utterly grey, devoid of any taste, colour or smell.
Points for melodrama? Nine out of ten? Fuck it, right now I’m in pain and don’t really give a fuck what anyone else thinks. I’m on Phuket, an island paradise, and am about to spend three days in Kuala Lumpur with all the glories it has to offer. So what? Still each day stretches out before me, a pitiless, black shadow stretching far beyond the horizon.
And there’s the other thing, in the same week that the relationship bombshell dropped I had to pack up my new life and leave Surat Thani, the little town that could, and a place which from out of nowhere felt more like home than anywhere I can remember. Saying goodbye to all the friends I’ve made over the year, particularly some wonderful Thai people and my flatmates. All after saying goodbye to the woman who meant the world to me.
Never had such a tough week in my life, and I’ve been fucking divorced.
So yeah, that’s pretty much the story so far. On Friday I’ll be in London and the day after back in Edinburgh, freezing my doubtless shrunken balls off. So, what now?
Well, first up is recovery. I’ve been here before and I know the ropes, much more intimately than I’d like to. Despite any number of heart-to-heart talks, friendly hugs, kind words and free pints I’m about to receive I WILL feel like shit for a while. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be human.
But as my friend Alex, finest shopkeeper in all of Surat, told me – always look forward. Always. The past is behind us and we can learn from it but we must never, ever dwell on it. It’s not productive and brings only pain. Once my head is in a better place I’ll appreciate that the future is open to me. I have a year’s teaching experience which leaves me much better placed for finding work around the world. I’m currently looking at South America with another good friend from Surat Thani and also have some leads in Japan, Taiwan and even Bahrain (with yet another Surat contact).
The future’s bright dammit, I just need to wash my glasses.
A couple of final thoughts before I go. The 365 Pictures project is now defunct. It was something I embarked upon with Em and I’ve lost any mojo I had for it. You know you’re pretty far gone when the mere act of taking a photograph has you reaching for the whisky. For that matter the blog might suffer too, at least for a while. I don’t just want write miserable shit like this all the time, I’m not fucking Morrissey, thank fuck, and would rather wait till I’m back on an even keel. Still, you never know. I think in some way it helps me so I might keep it up, feel free to tell be to cheer up and stop being a miserable fuck if it gets too teen-angsty.
And for those who wonder, I feel no bitterness towards Em. It wasn’t like that. She was honest with me and I’ve always, always maintained that I’d rather be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie. It offers no immediate solace but is immeasurably better in the long term and that knowledge and attitude informs every part of my life. Honesty and truth are important above all else. The way her life is just now it can’t include me but if that part of her life were to disappear or change tomorrow then I would, in all honesty, be on the next plane to wherever she was. Matches like that just don’t come along often enough to ignore them.