Sunday, May 02, 1999

`Love of truth = death of love…'

I'm living a lie. We all are. You too. Yes. We lie to get by, smooth things over, keep things straight. Oh yes. The difference is that last week I did something about it. And I am about to fess up. First, here's a pound of truth for nothing.

Whenever I write in this column about `my girlfriend' I'm not writing about my current girlfriend at all. I use incidents that involved previous girlfriends who are in no way related to my current girlfriend - unless (as in one case) they started off as the previous current girlfriend's sister. I do this to protect their identity. I can always say `no - that's not you' though now I suppose there are two sisters who know damn well it is them - so I might as well name them: Lucy and Cillia DeStempel. There. I've done it. I've named two real people and you're not supposed to do that. And I don't care. So I'm not bothered about naming Sebastian and Muni - the couple whose ghastly wedding I attempted to sabotage last week.

I went with Bridget and 150 other people. The tables were arranged in the shape of infinity signs. I was sat next to Aubrecia - a fashion writer with a Burchillian arm wobble - who is often seen with her mouth open in tabloid pictures of famous people at parties. The speeches were full of sentimental bog gas: think of Althorp's Diana encomium filtered through a weeping Kosovan orphan.

Suzanne Moore, or a woman who looked just like her, was yammering all lachrymosy because someone had pointed out quite rightly what an appalling fraud she is. It was that sort of do. Everything was bogus, from the placecards which were love haikus, to the guy swanking round with a bottle of absinthe saying he'd been given it by Johnny so that everyone asked `Johnny who?' allowing him to sniff `Depp, of course'. And at the very heart of this odious farrago, the means of my undoing, a video booth for people to record their pious or merry little forevers to the couple. Bridget, who is used to reading my weather systems, advised me to leave. Instead I got drunk.

The first time I visited the booth, Bridget and I left a perfect little billet doux of hopes and thanks and smiles. An hour later I went back - every cell in my body smashed - and told the truth. Sebastian knew I had been unable to attend his stag weekend. Now he would know why. I'd spent the entire 48 hours with Muni, E-d and V-d to the cortex, gurning and juddering and splashing starch in her foyer. I repeated the message once to make sure it stuck and seven more times because I had no idea what I was doing. Eventually Bridget dragged me out. She looked ravaged. Her version of the truth game had been to go round offering filthy snogs to the soirée gays.

Five days later my copy of the video came through the post. And guess what? My first message with Bridget was there intact. But my second, ugly truth version had vanished completely. The perfect note for the perfect enshrinement of hypocrisy. Now I'm not saying anything new here. We all accept that marriage marks the final relinquishing of our dreams about truth. In real life things are never perfect - so let's pretend. Let's fake the dream. Yet surely when we do that, we die inside because really we cease to believe in love.

OK, so you're thinking what's his problem? We've all been sent nuts by weddings. Well maybe it has something to do with Vanessa. It was 16 years ago and in short it went she: me: love - yes - no. We shared a house. We spent every waking moment together, talking and laughing. I watched a succession of godlike Jasons trudge up and down the stairs and all the time I loved her. One day out of the blue, she kissed me and told me she loved me. She wanted to be with me till she died. And I, because I truly loved her, told her the truth. I said: `You think you love me but you don't - and the reason you don't is because you don't want to wake up every day with someone who is being treated for depression.' It broke her heart. And of course it broke mine.

True love impels you to tell the truth. Yet with Vanessa, the truth made the love impossible. The only way to protect love is with lies and yet lies turn love into indifference. In my late adolescence, I turned this into an equation. Love of truth = death of love. If you divide both sides by love you end up with Truth = Death. I thought that was clever at the time, then for years I thought it was stupid, and last week I realised it was true. Maybe Vanessa knew it too. Death is the one place where there is no hypocrisy and Vanessa died eight years ago. So there is no going back - not without a spade anyway and I haven't considered that since I stopped the Halcyon. Ha, ha - but I'm crying.

So from now on it's the truth and only the truth because the death it brings is better than the living death of lies. Sod it if I lose my friends, if they can't take the truth they're not worth half an air kiss. And in case you're wondering, Vanessa was not her real name, I love(d) her too much to tell the truth about that…


Post a Comment

<< Home