I am in St. Paul’s Cathedral, darling. This is my first time here. My second time in London.
I cannot escape your influence, here I am, and fuck if I can’t escape what I learned from you.
The last time I was in a church this big, this grand, well, you know what i’m going to tell you, darling – it was the Sacre Coeur, that basilica we were brazen enough to call our own.
There’s a chorus singing, darling, and I’m almost in tears; I’m shaking inside with every crescendo. I see Jesus on the ceiling in northern Paris when I close my eyes because you took me to mass on a Thursday night.
I genuflected when I came in here, sweetheart. This isn’t even a Catholic church.
I’m sitting and I don’t want to be, but I’m thinking about you, and my elbow joint on my right arm is tingling like it does when tears are on the way. Leave me darling, please. It’s time we said good-bye, it’s time my body felt different in a place like this.
There are tourists like me, with backpacks like me. We all turn when a new person comes into view or a wooden chair creaks as someone sits or stands.
Darling, i’m still terrified. Darling, I thought I had you safely sealed in a glass jar.
The sounds are beautiful and I don’t have to know when to genuflect, say “and also with you.” I can’t tell if there are male and female singers – if it’s all male, those boys have quite a good falsetto.
Someone who is miked is praying for all Christians. You, I suppose, but not me.
You wanted me to become a Catholic, told me that i’d have to convert before we got married. I said OK.
Gold, and columns, and candles, and staff scolding the photographers.
The rising sound.
My new lover, darling, the one who I think’s the one, with whom I can be sane and passionate and who’s patiently watching my sorry ass heal – she knows that i’m writing about you.
She asked: “Do you still love her?” I told her no.
Sorry, darling, it’s the truth.
But damn, these demons won’t be buried without a fucken fight. I’ve let you go. I’ve forgiven you. I’ve forgiven me, too. Well, I’m working on it.
It isn’t love, it isn’t dread, it’s just these moments when you reappear, and you catch me off guard and I make a face that cannot hide the panic and the churning wheels. But it keeps my lips sealed tight, so that I can swallow the worst of it back down.
“For those who are anxious and afraid.” I guess there’s a prayer for me, too.
I guess that’s nice. I guess that that brings me something close to peace, something close to surrender. Still bitter, though, trying not to be. And that’s not the worst of it.