Q: Is there someone on the radar, then?
Q: So why don’t you then?
R: Don’t I what?
Q: Go out and find someone.
R: I suppose women just don’t like me.
Q: Yeah, whatever. Stop being flippant and just tell me.
R: You know how when you ask out that girl you really like, with whom you've, probably foolishly but also probably unwittingly, completely fallen in love, and she responds with a plain but emphatic No; and how afterwards you feel like the world’s crumbling around you and there's no point breathing in and out anymore, and you vow from then on to never love anyone else ever again?
Q: Yeah, of course...
R: And then how, perhaps not long after, you come across someone else who's pretty and fun and lovely and whatever, and before you know it you've forgotten your vow of lifelong solitude, and you try your luck once again.
R: Well, I've not forgotten my vow.
Q: What’s her name?
R: It doesn’t matter, she said No.
Q: And now you’re living a life of loneliness as a result?
R: Pretty much.
Q: I didn't expect to hear that kind of thing from you.
R: Why not?
Q: Well, after all the evangelising you’ve done in the name of polygamy, about how we’re all polygamists at heart and we mustn’t be ashamed of it, you now sound like the most extreme of monogamists. What happened to your polygamist instincts and all that? Don't you practice what you preach?
R: That’s not what I preached.
Q: What then?
R: All I ever advocated is that we be honest and remain true to our feelings, whatever they may be. Right now, for all my polygamist instincts, there’s only one person I really care about. Even though she said No, I can’t stop myself feeling the way I do. I live my life in a state of constant anticipation, sprinkled with the briefest moments of transient happiness. Whenever I talk to her, for example, and she says my name, it just sounds so lovely on her lips. And every time I see her name light up on my phone my breath catches and excitement bubbles up in my lungs.
Q: You’re obsessed.
R: I don’t deny it. She’s everything to me and I just wish I knew...
Q: ...why she said No? Yeah, I know, people always feel like that after being rejected.
R: No, I don’t feel like that.
Q: Why not?
R: I had a dream about her not a long ago.
Q: A sexy dream?
R: Just shut up and listen for a minute. I dreamt that she wanted to be with me, but she didn’t want to want to be with me, if you see what I mean. The two of us were sitting on a sofa in some kind of lobby, and I was trying to convince her that we should be together. She kept giving me reasons why we couldn’t do it, why we shouldn’t do it, and I argued against each objection with my usual force and conviction. I perused my points ruthlessly, so convinced was I that I was right. Eventually the arguments petered out, she having run out of reasons why we couldn’t be together and me having no real reasons why we should. We kind of just ground to a halt, sitting there like lemons. Then I looked at her, right in the eyes, just like one of those gaze-locked moments I seem to write about so often, and I felt something coming out from my eyes, some kind of heat or power. What was it? Conviction? Desperation? Love? I don’t know, maybe of all these things, it was a dream. Anyway, I looked at her, not talking but emanating, longing to reach out and stroke her cheek, and her face softened ever so slightly and she said Yes. She said Yes and she was smiling. Then she had to go up the in the lift to a meeting or something and I had go off as well, so we departed, and as I made my way home I found myself thinking: Wait, is this actually real? Did she really say Yes? Of course, I’m no stranger to these moments of sudden existential perspective and so I brushed aside my doubts without hesitation. Of course it's real, I told myself. And I felt so happy and excited, it seemed like the world was opening up before me into an ocean of joyful possibilities. And then of course I woke up and it took me a few seconds to distinguish between what was real and what wasn’t, and when I did so I felt the heavy yoke of reality come crashing around my neck.
Q: That must have been very disappointing…
R: But the point is in my dream she really wanted to be with me. Can I say the same about the real her? Yes, on the face of it knowing why she said No might give me something substantial to challenge and therefore an opportunity to win her over, somehow. But if, let’s say, I were to ask Why?, in all probability she’d just turn around to me and say: I’m just not that into you, and I don’t need my amorous aspirations so casually ground into the dust.
Q: Ok, so you don’t want to know why she rejected you. But then what was it you were saying you wish you knew?
R: I just want to know... I want to know everything about her. Sometimes I find myself looking at her, willing my gaze to pierce her skin, to go right through her skull. I want to see inside her, to see her soul, to witness her cerebral existence. I don’t just want her to tell me, I want to know. I want to think her thoughts and feel her feelings. They say that when a couple are in love the two of them become one, and I wish with all my heart that I could become one with her. Completely one. I love her.
Q: But why? Why do you love her? I mean, why do you love her?
R: Why? Well, you know, there’s a comic strip on the internet...
Q: Why can’t you ever answer my questions directly?
R: There’s a comic strip on the internet which features a stickman and a stickwoman. The man asks the woman: Why do you love me? and the woman replies: I don’t know; my heart never gave me a choice. Of course, he’s all touched by her response and there’s a moment where the two of them just stand there, looking at each other. Then she sa–
R: No, sorry, I thought my phone vibrated. What was I saying?
Q: My heart never gave me a choice.
R: Oh yes. Well that’s it, of course. As she drew nearer and nearer my heart just opened up and stretched its long tendrils out towards her. I couldn’t stop it– not that I would have if I could, mind you. I don’t even think I was aware of it. She just slowly, surreptitiously became, it seemed to me, the most wonderful person in the world.
Q: But she doesn’t want you.
R: I know that; it doesn’t change how I feel. Really, I just want her to know how much I care for her, even if she doesn’t care for me back, and that if she’s ever feeling down or sad my greatest happiness lies in trying to make her a little happier. Even if she tells me to leave her alone, to never see her or speak to her again, I’d do it for her. In the end of the day her happiness is so much more important than my own and, no matter what happens, if she wants me, I'll always be here for her.
R: Why are you looking at me like that?
Q: You sound like such a fucking idiot.
R: Fuck you...
- Image captured from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (1998)