Dear Brian

I’ve been thinking about you for a while now. Our life together, lives apart, your life, my life. It was cherry picking in July, valentine’s day feast at the Darjaling; passing monsters down our street at Halloween as we collected pumpkins for the children, not our children. Everything seemed temporary in our lives. A cherry picked here, zooming monster, pitta bread and humus at the tapas bar, muscles and curry in the depths of France – Like a delicious bowl of fruit demolished too soon and dreams that never really materialised. I wanted you so much to bathe me in your arms for an eternity, make love to me all day. I wanted to hug you till every juice was squeezed out of you.

But you always had to be off on some jaunt to another country, landscape, adventure. It was a quick lie down on the sun soaked rock face while eating with our clothes off and our eyes closed, on top of each other; or staring up at the sky stars where Pluto met Jupiter and tomorrow never came. I loved you then and always will but in the morning you were off again, said you wanted to eat the giant melon you found in the dustbin behind the doner kebab shop, then was promptly sick all night. I clutched onto you while you puked because I was scared. I didn’t want you to go off again. I wanted it to last forever and I knew it never would and I’d be on my own again. Somehow I knew you loved me and it was just the way you were, a happy wanderer with no place to go, except everywhere. Thats all.

I grew tired of it all, waiting, hoping, becoming, not becoming. You wanted to make love to me 50 times a day too but that wasn’t enough because you would always find some other jaunt and then I’d be left. Like a half baked chicken you were never quite done, only in need of other adventures more than anything else. I had to let you go otherwise our adventure would just end up being spewed out like that rotten melon. You would go off for weeks, months…I never knew when you’d be back or where exactly you’d gone. I didn’t like it when the policeman knocked on our door…

That’s why I had to leave you, pack up, take bags, suitcases, the only rucksack and tent I had from some charity shop and just go. That’s what you wanted all along. There was no space in either of our lives for each other and that’s the way it was. Why didn’t you ever follow me, catch me, flirt with me a bit more, tell me you loved me so much you just wanted me back again? Somehow I knew you wouldn’t. a ‘no’ meant a ‘no’ in your little red and black book – it meant this relationship is crossed off now and there’s no way back. Adieu, goodbye. I liked it like that too, clean break, a definite place of no return but I loved you too and it was hard to let you go.

There was the little girl to take care of too. It wasn’t just you and I splitting apart like some banana ice cream. There was the child to consider, even if she wasn’t yours or mine. She was still a child and we both loved her. You were in no state to even look at her. We fled together, me and the cherub, Cyclamen. Most people take in stray dogs or cats, no not us, stray children. I’m sure we must have broken some law but then you don’t just leave a 4 year old child wandering around the neighbourhood like a wild cat do you?

Cyclamen and I went back to the beach hut for a while, danced around the wood burner and made marmite on toast and baked bananas. We sat around the heat and cuddled each other till our toes and fingers were warm again. I loved it when you used to curl up with me at night, clutching onto my hands or feet making love from the feet upwards, not making love, just showing love towards me – the two things are different sometimes. And that’s what I really miss.

Anyway, Cyclamen and I played games together on the beach for a while, twisting our bodies round, and throwing stones into a bucket. I watched her chocolate black hair fly up in the Autumn wind while mine had become a tangled mesh of red on wind burnt skin. We had to move on cos you can’t sleep in the huts as you know and anyway it was too small, cold and cramped. Cyclamen asked about you none stop and neither of us could understand how you’d let us both go barely without a word. But we managed somehow.

I pitched the tent in the middle of a farmer’s field (following a tap on the door and unexpected welcome!) and let Cyclamen run around for a while. I cooked beans on toast, toast again to keep us warm, spaghetti hoops, baked potatoes on a little fire I made discretely and a few marshmallows with melted chocolate. It was all we could manage before falling asleep inside our Tiger sleeping bags under the flapping canvas. We slept on and on through the morning till Josh the farmer and his partner, Zoe, came out with tomatoes, pears and a huge bag of apple windfalls. They must have taken pity on us. We were invited in for elderflower tea and gooseberry jam sandwiches. Beautiful! Wonderful! Already my taste buds were activated. They had a daughter, Chloe, who at 7 was a little older than Cyclamen but they ran upstairs to this giant dolls house and played with that for the rest of the day, drinking fresh orange juice and vegan blue cheese and lettuce sandwiches.

Don’t ask me what happened and why I ended up just staying there on this organic permaculture farm. It just happened. I had nowhere else to go. I didn’t know where to head off next and delayed making any kind of decision because everything seemed good here compared to the mesh inside my head. It turned out they desperately needed help on the farm, with Chloe and with other things. They seemed to think I fitted the bill. I don’t know why or how. It just happened.

They gave me a converted horse box which had a double bunk bed in a separate compartment, double on the bottom and single on the top for Cyclamen. She loved it. So did I. They gave me a job cleaning the house and teaching the two girls basic English as they home educated her and Cyclamen wanted that too. It was beautiful. Everything felt perfect. And then something extraordinary happened…

It was in the middle of winter, depths of snow, ice – well, not exactly when this happened. It was almost over night. People started arriving in these tents called yurts – domes, a bit like tepees – all white. All sorts of people. They were quite elderly some of them, others young and with families. It was as if we’d arrived like nomads and all of a sudden a whole village appeared. Everyone was vegetarian; everyone played some kind of instrument and they did this chanting, sometimes through the night. It felt strange but soon I was chanting Om namah shivaya along with the rest of them. I felt so high. Cyclamen and I really changed, we have changed.

We’re not what we used to be Brian and never will be. We don’t eat meat, we pray and chant and play djembe drums. It was right for us to part, I know that now. You weren’t ready for all this – but now, come over Brian. Cyclamen and I really love you. We’ve found something good for all of us. I wish you’d come, just for a few days, find out for yourself about this way of life. It’s really helped us. We love it and we’ll never be the same again. You can find love, healing, community too Brian – its the community spirit that keeps us alive; the love of human beings just like us who want to live peacefully in the natural world. It’s here for anyone who wants it Brian. Reach out to us, come when you’re ready. Cyclamen and I would love to see you again.

Goodbye for now Brian, Love always Brianny

PS: I’m going to burn this now Brian. I know you won’t come but in my heart I hope you find something as good as this. It’s there if you want it. It’s there for everyone.