The landscape of my mind is clean, bright and smooth, like rolling summer hills and meadows. I navigate smoothly and swiftly from location to location, absorbing memories en route, harvesting thoughts from the mental pastures and shaping them into coherence and action.
Somewhere in the landscape sits one dark and forbidding thicket, little visited for a while, its paths clogged and tangled and all but forgotten. I unexpectedly re-entered it on Friday.
I answered the knock on the door and she stood there, bags in hand, come not for me but for the transport and entertainment my flatmate was offering, proving the impossibility of a clean emotional break in a personal life complicated by shared friends and a common employer. My reaction was one of mute sullenness brought on by an utter inability to think of something I could possibly want to say in a suddenly oppressive house. I exchanged three civil if curt words before walking out to a different set of a friends and a different evening.
For a while I was left alone in the dark cloud of my thoughts. It's an unsettling place to be. I'm obscenely, greedily, jealously, angry. The rage stills my tongue but quickens my mind as it thrashes through the dark paths seeking an outlet.
De Botton writes that anger is a result of the frustration arising when the world does not conform to our expectations. I led myself to believe that my world at this point would include sharing life with her, my reading of her complex character was inaccurate, she had other ideas and now I'm angry.
When I think about talking to her now, instead of hearing the words, I rage at the loss of the bushels of joy she stole from my dreams and shared with him. It's not even that I'm unhappy at the moment, just at times I envy those who have someone to share their happiness with.