the magic mushrooms was your idea. It was your first time in the tropics, with him, this man you were beginning to like. You thought what better way to push past the clumsy peeling of layers than coupling within a hallucinogenic bubble. You get impatient with love. You want to taste it. But they were dodgy mushrooms and when your skin touched his there were sun flares and sunbursts. You vomited for what seemed like a full revolution. Standing under the shower, the spray was a whip, and you waited for red to flow with water down the drain.
You crawled into bed next to him and lay listening to the cackling next door and the cats outside shrieking in synchronised heat.
The air in the room was stale, tasting of copper, so you asked him to open the windows. It flew straight in and bore down on you: the full moon, a body so galactic, pregnant as you were then with life, with possibility. You were 22 and love had finally erupted in your presence. You passed out eventually. In the morning there were sheepish grins on your faces and you had the most tender sex.
You’re 29, waiting for him to come home, drunk again, because you had been fighting. There was barely any crockery in your flat because you liked to throw things. There were cracks along the bannister and the dining table was chipped on one side, a flaw you hid under a table runner.
Your girlfriends said, enough, don’t let this diablo get under your skin anymore.
When you stepped out onto the porch, dragging your suitcase, there it was, that same full moon. What was that film that made you first yearn for love? about a man with a prosthetic hand and a woman who looked like your mum when she was 20. And a full moon that was on this side of insane. When the woman tried to end the affair, the man said: ‘But love don’t make things nice, it ruins everything! It breaks your heart, it makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die’.
You stared the moon in the eye and spat out your heartbreak. Hijo de puta!
He saw you with your suitcase and that jaw which juts out when you are stubborn, so he threatened you with everything. You felt an ache in a place you did not want to look. You shook your head and tried to get out what you had practiced in front of the mirror, when he lunged for the suitcase. You were quicker and yanked it back hard. He almost fell off the porch. We make quite a sight, you thought.
But we love each other and people in love stay together, he whispered. The fight had gone from him. It was over.
Well love ruins everything, you said.