It cannot have escaped your notice that I seldom blog about my real life – in fact, I only mention it when it interrupts the blogging process in some way. There are a variety of reasons for this that go beyond the normal desire to keep spheres of operation separate, chief of which are ‘working in an industry which might have adverse reactions to me saying ‘shitweasel’ on the Internet too often’ and ‘frankly my life is actually quite boring’.
However, this does mean that, on occasion, I don’t give credit where credit is due. Since today is devoted to uncharacteristic displays of affection, therefore, I give you Hark.
There are not enough words for ‘talented, clever, patient, generous, hilariously funny and drop-dead gorgeous’ in any language, on this world or any other, to quite depict the regard in which I hold this woman. There certainly isn’t one that can express quite how fortunate it is that we met, nor how constantly amazed I am that we’ve been together for as long as we have and not ended up killing ourselves and several hundred other people like some arts-and-crafts Bonnie and Clyde.
Our meeting was not auspicious – intoxicated off our mutual tits in a Students’ Union bar during Fresher’s Week, and primarily attracted to each others’ outfits and ability to drunkenly rage against the dying of proper comma placement even after the eighth pint of snakebite and black. It’s sheer blind luck that we bumped into each other two weeks later outside the station – Hark coming out, I coming in – and shared a moment of “oh god did we… actually you were vaguely interesting to talk to as well… pub?”
We drank for something like six hours. Then she followed me home and talked about Harry Potter until four in the morning. This happened quite a lot over the ensuing two years, until it was apparent to everyone but us that we were more or less inseparable. The clues were there all along, I suppose: the way our respective mental illnesses appear to have synchronised so that we’re never both reduced to uselessness at the same time, or the way our DVD collections have perfectly complemented each other, or the way we seem to have swapped our subcultural destinies years before we ever met. Even our hobbies have wound around each other like mating pythons and become indivisible – the only fanfiction I’ve written in years is in imitation of hers, or at her request, and she’s picked up the funny-shaped dice and pretended to be a priest at mine. We bicker constantly, and yet never seem to really fight. We are more than the sum of our parts.
I’d go so far as to say that we’ve literally saved each others’ lives, and that I’ve no idea what the last three years would have been like if we hadn’t met. Life without Hark is a strange and terrifying prospect, as alien to me as a stroll in the Venusian sunshine, and about as deadly. Without her, I’d never have been able to pay my way through my Masters, or keep myself sane during the long haul of teacher training – indeed, without her, I doubt I’d have had the certainty or the confidence to attempt either. Her willingness to up sticks every time my wayward career path leads us to a new start in a new place has been nothing short of incredible.
She has brought so much colour, laughter, and love into my life, become the guiding light to my shadow, and yet she remains herself, insoluble in others, wise and witty, and ever so much more than the half of an ampersand that the possessive little platitude ‘my girlfriend’ implies.
These words are older than our relationship, but they are as true now as they were then.
a child of a spiritless age,
and I can’t say such things like I mean them,
can’t summon such passion or rage.There’s no room in this world for a hero,
or so I had come to believe:
it’s a time that demands an inquirer,
a cynic too far gone to grieve
For the fallen, or fight for the living,
the world can’t be saved by one man,
amor vincit omnia‘s a thing of the past,
to survive is the only sound plan
But my heart wants to strap on my armour,
and my soul wants to stand by your side,
hand in hand for as long as you’ll have me,
and facing each battle with pride.
I am yours, my love, for as long as you need me, and I’ll stay by you until you choose to send me away.