i have always found it increasingly difficult to set foot in a church let alone go through the proceedings of worship to something i don’t believe in. i accept that other people have beliefs.
it all came about in the demise of my relationship with francis. his belief seemed to have gotten stronger and stronger over the years.
i noticed an absent space in the bed on Sunday mornings. i would go to the kitchen and drink coffee alone. francis would be on his knees praying. i would do the crossword puzzle and then in anger and frustration beat off into the bathroom washbasin. i thought i would leave the jism to run down to the plughole. if he dared ask i would tell him i hadn’t rinsed away the toothpaste from my mouth. but i knew he would never ask. as he would never ask about stains on the bed. we seemed to get it on less and less. although we still attended the gym and our favourite clubs together. and yet love still seemed strong.
i had been separated from francis for two years. i had left our apartment. i had left the city we lived in together. i rented somewhere in Paris but that didn’t really suit me. so i moved onto Berlin but thinking deep in the back of my mind that i would like to be in some far flung place such as Tokyo or Osaka. i had been told if you want to live in Japan move to Osaka where the people are warm and there is an abundance of silly humour.
in truth i have yet to decide. there was an actor a long time ago. Anthony Quinn. he said you have to find a city with a rhythm that suits your soul. i’ll keep looking.
a couple of months ago i got an invite to a wedding. breeders. a fun couple. young and vivacious. she Catholic. he, a convert of convenience to suit the situation. i thought champagne, canapes and a chance to put on that Marc Jacobs shirt that francis had gifted me. a chance to flirt.
i waited outside the church and thought i would mingle with the guests as they came out. pretending to having witnessed the ceremony. it worked. no one cared. they were only interested in the bride and groom.
it is abundantly obvious that francis was there. why wouldn’t he be? and i smiled when i saw him. noting that we were both wearing the same RayBans. the ones we had bought when we made the joint appointment to have our eyes tested. and he smiled and i wondered if he smelled as good as i remembered. and i wanted just to have the strength to approach him. for him to reach out and hold me in his arms. but then he turned away and headed towards the cloisters. to his new love. and i looked and i thought he just looked like some dumb blonde punk.
with tears i looked towards the bride. i thought how wonderful the execution of my wedding dress had turned out. my lip trembled. the wedding dress had just been another secret that i had kept so well. i should have been a spy.