April 17 will mark the seventeenth year of the death of my French lover, Jean-Marc Jarrouse. He was 34. Every year since 1992 my chest is reopened and the old wound is re-exposed, toyed with and made to bleed again as if it were only yesterday. The more I try to ignore it, the worse it feels, but in acknowledging it I find no peace either. So it simply is. I had loved greatly before we met in a bar in Spain in 1990 and fell in love on the beach, but never enough to disavow my previous life. I have loved since but never with that part of my soul reserved for his consumption exclusively. I hope to love again some day and offer a similar, but different piece of my heart because I know I am still capable of such things, although I've avoided it out of fear of pain and other issues that have since cloaked me to one degree or another; I am optimistic about the future. But my mid-April horror comes without fail and derails me for a short time, and I'm grateful that I can take some time to deal with it alone, and privately. Jean-Marc was beautiful, intelligent, funny, indescribably generous and capable of the deepest love. He was also a habitual liar, mercurial and exacting, occasionally cruel. He had more demons than anyone I've ever met, and I became intimately acquainted with them all. If the utter pathos of his death occasionally obscures the real man inside, it is never for long. The parts of my brain that hold memories of those two years we had together never stills. And his shade has never left me, even if sometimes it feels that way. I must say that he makes a shitty guardian angel, but that was never his responsibility to me so I cannot complain, not really. Writing about him is indescribably hard, especially if I want to write about him truthfully. But when I first found my sea-legs as a writer I was able to grind out five chapters and posted them on The Spin Cycle. I started the first chapter with a short quote from a Jacques Brel song: On n'oublie rien de rien On s'habitue, c'est tout We forget nothing of anything We just get used to it [habituate ourselves], that's all These are links to the story, for those who want to read them: The Spin Cycle: Titpig's Frustration, or Sitges Part 1 The Spin Cycle: Titpig's Satisfaction, or Sitges Pt 2 The Spin Cycle: Jean-Marc Came To Boston And All He Got Was This Crummy T-Shirt, Part 1 (Chapter 3) The Spin Cycle: Jean-Marc Came To Boston And All He Got Was This Crummy T-Shirt, Part 2 (Chapter 4) The Spin Cycle: Bienvenue A Paris, Part 1 (Chapter 5) And here's a little song written by Serge Gainsbourg and sung by the inimitable Juliette Greco: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADNhW0Rj5js The chorus's final line goes "We loved each other for the time of one [single] song". We only had two years.