Desperate Romantic: My Life as a Stalker (A Lamentably True Story)

Prague day 2 047

12: The Heart of the Problem

“I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited but

I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it

I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded

That for me, it isn’t over…”


Someone Like You

I’ve been driving around in the yellow Monaro with Adele blaring from the stereo (not very rock and roll). More often than not, it’s the last three songs on her album 21, the less commercially-successful end. The second-last is ‘Love Song’, her rendition of the song originally written and performed by The Cure.

The most striking version I’ve heard was performed by A Perfect Circle as part of a medley with ‘Diary of a Madman’, by Ozzy Osbourne. I didn’t recognize or even know either when I heard them, but I remember Maynard James Keenan with his back to the audience, bent over in supplication, howling in his spectral, monolithic voice,

However far away
I will always love you
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you

Much as I admire both versions by Adele and The Cure, it is A Perfect Circle’s that knocks me cold. I remembered those lyrics and that performance for years before I figured out who the original artists were.

Standing in front of the stage amongst the thronging crush of bodies, I felt that song and those words, rearing up and over me like my very own private angel of morbid sorrow. And when it spoke, I heard Gerald Manley Hopkins’ voice.

Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year

Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.



When I got to the shrink last week, I was obsessed with the film Blade Runner.

I first saw Blade Runner in my early teens, and it took a few viewings before I could appreciate it for what it was. The beautiful, futuristic decrepitude and everything else drifted past me like neon over a windshield. That said, I understood enough of the ending for it to hurt me.

The ending, an existential double negative, is a parallel for human experience. Rachael was a replicant and Deckard almost certainly, also. If they are synthetic humans then their love wasn’t real, but they chose to sacrifice their lives for it, anyway. They were willing to sacrifice their lives for a phantasm.

I know how that feels.


If romantic projection is a prison, then the bars are bent loops of metal, like a series of mobius strips with romantic delusion inscribed on one side and clinical diagnosis on the other. I’m not quite sure which way to twist them. It’s true that if I choose to confirm my love for Eurydice as a delusion, the whole thing (might) evaporate and I could move on. However, I don’t quite have the heart to do that. Yet.

In my experience though, they aren’t bars at all. Conceptually, it’s more like a cell of hardened glass, the plates of which are so cleanly laid together there isn’t the slightest discernible schism in perspective. They are panes of hardened glass, smooth as winter ice.

When I reached the end of my weekly tirade, the shrink quietly said,

“You’re very charismatic. I think that might be part of your problem.”

I don’t understand what he meant exactly, but it confirmed what I suspected; the entire fiasco was essentially my fault.


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