[ 00:42 tuesday 5 april – haggerston road ]
as suddenly, as unexpectedly, as beautifully as it began; my relationship with matteo is over.
three weeks ago today we rose before dawn to catch a bus to london bridge station and then a train to gatwick airport. matteo checked in his luggage. we sat together and watched each other over cups of coffee in an airport cafe, echoing the day of his arrival. then it was time for me to turn around and commence my journey back to london, leaving matteo to catch a flight for naples and stromboli.
i’d imagined a million ways our relationship would end; always with cataclysmic arguments, infidelities or betrayals. but there was nothing like that. we carried on caring about each other, creating music together, holding each other close. a day simply arrived when it was time for us to finish.
the first sign was returning to london after giving a talk in cornwall to find matteo in a state of feverish agitation. all that evening he clung to me, talking continuously, unable to focus. i held him tightly, spoke soothing words, ran my hand through his hair and tried to understand what was going on in his mind. three days later we booked the ticket for him to return to stromboli.
our final week together was extraordinary. every moment glowed. we recorded songs together almost every night and spent hours talking. we held a leaving party for the friends who had made our time together in london so happy.
on the journey back from the airport i felt like an automaton. opening the front door and coming into the empty house i broke down and cried for the first and last time. after that there was no sadness. this was partly because in my heart it didn’t feel like anything had changed. but it was also because i’d tried from the start to appreciate each day together as if it was our last, to immerse myself in the relationship without clinging to it.
despite its brevity this has been one of the richest, most intense and most joyful relationships of my life. for the first time i came close to being the person i aspired to be for my partner. when we started off together my friends were concerned i would end up getting hurt. but of all my relationships this is the one that has hurt me the least and given me the most joy.
despite the gulf in our age and experiences we were perfect partners in crime. we shared a love of putting on a show, bringing friends together, disrupting our environments, bucking convention and creating beautiful things in every sphere we touched. we were always honest with each other. we always listened to each other. we were always faithful to each other.
from the first moment i found matteo beautiful. he inspired me to be something better than i was.
i’m proud of us both for seizing the improbable opportunity that fate presented and following it without fear where it would lead.
thank you matteo, thank you for everything.
: c :