I needed a reprieve.
I resolved to delve into a secondary persona - a fragment, nothing fledged - and speak momentarily, as if in observation, “Why?”
It was no quiet desperate measure, this inadvertent mantra which, ah, dawned on me a means to halt the susurrations that hounded in my wake. A trick, I thought it first - a diversion. It would spare me a bit of onslaught, at least for however long to ponder the absurdities of the act. I did not dare hope for more from this witting imitation of a lover’s plea. “My love,” went the incantation, “Why…
"Why do this to yourself?
"Why this torment?
"Why not freely permit your troubles flow?
"I love you and absolve you, you whom I know better than any other…
and will live with for the rest of my life.”
This can be sincerity. This I can embrace. Ardently, without irony or deprecation. “My love,” when my demons give me grief. “My love,” for all eternity. “My love,” for these waking hours I submit to the aggressions of impatient self-reform.
"I love you."
How else can I say that I have ever loved, if I do not love you - and gently - too?