Monday, 13 September 2010

Obsessive Love by Edward Docx - My Most Favourite Article Ever Written

This is the kind of love that comes upon you in the cover of darkness, slips by the sentries of your heart and steals up your spiral staircase and into your most secret chamber.  Suddenly a voice you know is whispering your name.  Familiar eyes are shining. That face again - full of of friendship, mischief, passion and playfullness; collusive once more, now radient, now shy; a face forever caught between laughter and a kiss.  Those lips that you wish for.  That beauty you crave.  That body you desire.  But you must not touch.  For then your vision will vanish.

This kind of love is the rarest of them all, the kind of love to which your dreams return long after it has gone, the kind of love you will remember as you lie dying.  Call it by any name you wish - those who have lived with it don't care what words you use - they know that it is a love of an entirely different order.  It is not good or wise or fitting.  It is untouched by all such considerations.  It spurns convention and mocks custom, law and principle.  It has no interest in tomorrow, in circumstances, in the world, or even in its own meaning.  No: this kind of love is all-consuming.  It is our imagination's dearest dream.  our body's most devout wish.  Something elemental and of the spirit - ancient, human.  And beside its ferocious energy, all other love seems pale and quotidian and felt only meekly.

But this kind of love also knows its own rapacious madness.  And so must live as fast and as fully as it can.  It must spend everything. Spare nothing.  There can be no sense or reason to it.  Not time for reality or awkward truth; no space in which to consider.  Pain and hurt gather like storms in its vortex.  yet still such lovers continue to lead one another further and further away from the world, from the duties and considerations that come to compromise our lives, from the things we need for our fundamental sanity and survival.  There is no road back and the bridges are forever burning.  And when the end comes, it is terrible and absolute because there is can be nothing left - no friendship, no future, nothing.  Everything must be destroyed in order to outlive it.  Otherwise it will reincarnate itself - more virulent, more demanding, more urgent.

both parties understand well that never again will the strange and exacting alchemy of attraction will be exactly married.  As a man, you feel as if you have known her all your life - from your very earliest imaginings of women.  She seems to have been created o live in your company, and you in hers.  You are your truest self with her.  She with you.  Gone is the needy rancour and panic of the insecure.  Gone too, all thought of others.  Instead, her being seem the very twin or counterpart to your own.  As if you have previously walked the Earth as only half yourself.  Her wits are sharp, her mind is elegant, she is perceptive, compassionate, eloquent.  She is unafraid and unconcerned what you or others may think.  She is deadly fun, silly, brilliant, seriuos, necessary.  There is a lustre to her hair, a light in her eyes and music in her voice; the sunitself in her smile; and most of all she has so very much spirit.

Then there is her beauty, which to you is wholly overpowering, transfixing.  Whenever she comes into a room, it startles you afresh.  All other conversations, thought, actions are mere distractions until such time as you can stand again with her.  You are continually aware of where she is.  You sense every other man's eyes upon her.  You strain to hear what she is saying over the babble of whoever is talking.  Your heart pauses when she leaves and beats faster when she returns.  You want the evening to be over so that you can be alone.
Because most of all there is the endless desire.  Every moment that you are with her, you desire her.  You cannot be still in one another's company until you have consummated this desire.  And this is not the petty or puerile desire that others have declared for her - or have decalred for you - but an all-devouring and ferociuos desire that cares for nothing else.  And does not stop.  There are days and nights of doing nothing but lying together - the busy sun rising, falling, fadins, setting.  you begin, you rest a while, you talk, you begin again.  The world is shrunk to the size of a bed.  Humanity reduced to a single man in a battered crash helmet who brings infrequent food to the faraway front door.

And neither is this the desire that is so clumsily rendered in our films or on our televisions.  Rather its expression is as real and as intricate as human beings can be and has just as many qualities.  Sometimes it is quick, sometimes it is slow.  Sometimes it is sensitive and caring, somtimes impolite and carnal.  Sometimes deviant; sometimes straight.  Sometimes dressed up. Sometimes dressed down.  Sometimes it is planned; sometimes impromptu.  Sometimes it is wild.  Sometimes it is lazy.  It is addictive.  It is manic.  It is obsessive.  It is compulsive.  And it is what it is to be truly live.

All words by Edward Docx. Published in Vogue (2007?)

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