When I was 16, a boy I was certain I would love forever gave me a gift.
“Beautiful Losers” by Leonard Cohen and a mixed tape of his songs. (Remember when we would make mixtapes for the ones we loved? That was great.) The thing of it is, I don’t remember who that boy was. Which is unfortunate because I would love to thank him again.
It’s been six months since the poet laureate of my heart died. I’m not over it and I think about him at least once a day.
“I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.”
Because I am sure that I loved that boy who gave me Leonard Cohen, I ate up his words. I drank up his music. And though Leonard Cohen was 40 years older than me, I knew that if I ever met him I would give myself to him. Because he was beautiful. Because his words were beautiful. Because he knew how to wring every drop of emotion from every interaction he shared with every woman he ever met.
I was sure of it.
“Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as a secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”
The Favorite Game
This boy, whoever he was, destroyed my life. He made me want my very own Leonard. I chased every weirdo artist that crossed my path for decades. I wanted, needed, would not survive if I wasn’t someone’s Marianne. I would settle for Suzanne. I would settle for being anyone’s anonymous and unnamed muse.
Please, for the love of everything in the universe, make some art about me. Please let me inspire a great work of yours. Let it all end in a flurry of tears, passion and world renown for you.
“My reputation as a ladies’ man was a joke
that caused me to laugh bitterly
through the ten thousand nights
I spent alone.”
The Book of Longing
To the best of my knowledge, only one piece of art has been made for me. It was a booze and weed influenced remix of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” that was made in order for him to have his Lloyd Dobler/Say Anything moment when I tried to end our pairing for the 70th time that month. I loved everything about it.
I listened to it again about five years after I ended the relationship for good. It’s truly completely, terrible. I do not want anything about me attached to that song.
“So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed
it would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed”
Death of a Lady’s Man
With the death of my beloved Leonard came the stark realization that no one will ever love me enough to turn our affair into a song or a painting or a screenplay or sculpture or a poem. My window for finding my Leonard closed decades ago. I will inspire no one to artistic greatness. This is the regret of my life that feeds all other regrets.