BF's first boyfriend was a friend of mine, M.V. They were together for quite a while, and when they broke up she was the instigator. They had always been ill-matched in certain ways, and the relationship was one that had never been going to work out, so neither was surprised, but M.V. didn't want to break up, and still loved her. After the break-up he moved to California. He and BF "stayed friends," and a couple of years later he came to visit. What a flurry there was about the house after he arrived! He fixed various things that had been languishing unfixed! He performed various manly manual deeds! He may have changed a fuse! I know he fixed a faulty light fixture, because he and I stopped by the hardware store to buy something necessary to that procedure together. As we were walking home, discussing what exactly he had to do, he suddenly said to me, "Oh, who cares? I'm only doing it so she'll fall in love with me again." I was, and remain, so surprised by this. He knew: he knew why he was doing it, but, more importantly, his tone said he knew that it wouldn't work. He knew, and he did it anyway.
I don't know what he would have said if I'd asked him why he was doing it, knowing. Would he have said that somewhere in him a tiny tiny bit believed that fixing all that stuff just might change her mind? Would he have said that the pleasure it gave him to do those things outweighed the pain caused by the knowledge that the cause was hopeless - or that it didn't, but he couldn't help himself anyway? Would he have given me a long, carefully thought out disquisition about the complexities of emotions? Would he have told me that he couldn't control his feelings, so he was just going to ride them out, no matter the sorrow involved? I've thought of that moment often over the years, but I've never known whether he made that exclamation out of exasperation, or self-anger, or a desire for honesty, or a combination of all three.
Today I've been reading John Locke and revising my third chapter. I am not pleased with my third chapter. On the other hand, I also booked a ticket to go see the revival Arcadia before I leave. It's my favourite play, and I'll be seeing it four days before I go. Even better, it'll still be showing when I get back, so if I like it I can book to see it again!