September 26, 2004 at 5:11 pm | Posted in Fag Hags, Friends, Something | Leave a comment

How often are we allowed to feel a love so intense it consumes us and lead us to think we’ll never be able to feel that same way about anybody else for the rest of our lives?

In an episode of Nip/Tuck, I see Sean in a hotel room with Megan O’Hara, with whom he is having an affair. Terminally ill, she wants to do away with all the mess of dying when she knows the end result anyway. She asks Sean to be there with her when she breathes her last.

Which is how Sean McNamara ends up in the hotel room with her where she writes a note to her husband and children, then lies down in bed, takes down a handful of sleeping pills and then puts on a plastic bag over her head. In all the while, Sean watches.

“Goodbye Scarecrow, I’ll miss you the most,” she said, her eyes falling under the weight of the choice she has made, before pulling her away from consciousness into where only she will ultimately know.

Megan’s choices are not to be valorized, nor justified. Least of all because she does not exist in real life, though there are those who have made the same choices she had. But what about Sean? He is the one who has to live with Megan’s choices in his mind. Megan, good soul that she is, said it best. Don’t remember how it ends. Think about how it started and all the things in between. Remember those and you’ll do fine.

These were the same words I said one rainy Thursday night while talking over crepes and apple cider juice with E. in a place called Cafe Breton over at Morato. I guess she’s right, I say. It really doesn’t matter how a relationship ends. What’s important is what you get out of it and all the good times that you had in between the start and end.

E. is feeling depressed, not knowing what had happened to Cholo. It has been quite some time since she’d cut all communications with him, not because of a bad break-up. Far from it. In fact, E. says she’ll probably never meet anyone like Cholo in her life.

What he said he likes about me is that I let him be who he is, with no pressure and no expectations, she says. I let him be a kid, E. says. Secretly, I had always envied E. From what she tells me, it seemed like a carefree, easygoing, mirthful and enjoyable relationship. Something I so desperately seek or am not able to do in my own relationships.

There was a time, when Cholo’s cousin called up E. and begged her to dissuade him from drag racing because it’s hgh-risk. She refuses. I let him do what he wants, she says, why should I tell him how to live his life? Their set-up, in other words, was one bereft of petty fights because they dealt with each other as they were. How often does that happen in our relationships?

Not often, I guess. So imagine how it must have been for E. to find out that the one guy she thinks fits her well had a terminal case of bone marrow cancer. They cut off communication at one point when it just seemed like things were taking a turn for the worse. He didn’t want her see him go through the things Megan wanted to do away with when she took her own life. The effects of chemotherapy, the weakness from all the medicines, and the terrible, terrible headaches. So for months E. carried on with her life, but not only in one instance did she tell me how no one that came along afterwards could compare to Cholo. My advice: keep him in the back of your mind and live your life.

She tried, but the bad news came recently.

There’s just too many songs out there that remind me of him, she says. It’s a good thing you didn’t become friends with him, or else I would have been forced to cut off my ties with you too because you would have only reminded me of him, E. tells me. Her words packed a wallop.
It got me thinking — beyond remembering, how does one deal with a love that’s buried six feet under?

Much has been said about falling in love, meeting that one person to risk your everything for, and an equal amount has been said about sorries and goodbyes, and tearful rejections and separations. And to be sure there have been stories before about what happens to love, beyond this place of existence.

As for my friend E., I’d like to know two things. How she will carry on, and whether she’ll ever be inspired by anyone else the same way. For the moment we refuse to talk about it. It’s better that way. Her loss is a deeply personal struggle for which I can only try to put together some words to make sense of it and console her. In the meantime, I ask myself: How does one really say goodbye to love, when life steps in and says “Sorry. This is as far as your years will allow you to go.”?

Hopefully when E. asks me I can have the answer.


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