by Christos Polydorou
I had a girlfriend once, her name was Mona. We met in art school. I really admired the way she painted with acrylic paint, in her hands, whose fingers were longer than the palms, a brushstroke became an alive, singing object, like the broomsticks in Disney’s Fantasia. She painted and painted until the painting was thick and solid, ironclad, and at the same time fluid, like a brook. She had such a gift. I loved her so much, following her everywhere, putting on excessive Old Spice, espousing ridiculously arrogant views on art, being silly, making her laugh, making her compliments, giving her all my attention, adoring her, never being mean to her, always being so sweet to this sweet girl who had agreed to be my girlfriend. I was nineteen, and she was eighteen, and because I had no way to accept who I was, coming of age in a Cyprus post Turkish invasion (1974) and pre European Union (2008), I led myself believe I was heartbroken when I sensed that a proverbial and metaphorical glass that held between us had shifted. She looked at me, dismayed, how could I know that she had betrayed me? Because Mona was telling me so. Not with her words. But with her eyes. She hadn’t confessed, but the way she carried herself into the room I was in the day after she slept with my best friend, it was evident that she was weighed down by guilt. I held her in my arms, apologising for everything I had done wrong. She wept, then I started to weep. We were teenagers. We build ourselves towards love, but always someone somewhere will have to be sacrificed. This is the way of love. No one is a winner, at least for long. Eventually, love rolls round to destroy and venerate each and everyone of us. And to transform us from who we were pushed to be into who we were meant to be.