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The Purple Hat

by Henri 

Posted: 03 May 2006
Word Count: 944

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The Purple Hat

Yes, silly, I remember. Of course I remember. It was in this spooky night club place. You stepped on my toes when we danced. You were always a bit clumsy that way. You made me laugh while we danced, that made me clumsy, too. You bent down to touch my hair with your lips. Then you invented those ridiculous poems that made me laugh even more. You told me I had the most beautiful legs on earth.

Did I make you go giddy?

Of course you did. Kind of butterflies-in-tummy syndrome. Lovely.

What else?

I looked up at your face and thought you were the handsomest devil in the whole world.

Oh! And I thought I’d be far to old for you...

Oh boy, men are so dumb! Besides, you like my cooking – that alone makes you totally and utterly desirable. And what’s more, we could always play “chopsticks” together on the piano! Then, how could I be with someone who can’t go delirious over some particularly goose-pimply jazz chords? Someone who can’t laugh about my silly jokes? You would draw inane little cartoons just for me and make up those “stanzas”. Or just think of the way we can quietly sit and read and share the best bits from time to time... Oh, yes, how could I leave this to last: to this day you still touch me the way that makes me giddy!

I am glad. And the bad things?

I ignored them a long time ago. The worst day of my life made sure of that. Nothing could beat that one.

It was more than one day!

Yes. Much more than a day. Many days. And every day I died a little more.

As I did. You have no idea how broken I felt, as though I had ripped my heart out of my very own chest. Not only did I hurt so much, but I felt completely lost. Then I found out you had a lover ...


After you moved out, I hung out at your new flat. Looked up at your windows, saw your silhouette move. I didn’t mean to spy, just had need of you – that forlorn, faraway nearness seemed better than nothing at all. Being there, watching, suffering, gave me some kind of masochistic satisfaction. And one day there were two silhouettes. Clearly you and a man – and you embraced. The two shapes melted into one. That’s when I truly died.

What did you expect? I had to heal. You left me so abruptly, no explanation, not a word ... one day you were there, loving me, the next there was only bleakness. I needed someone’s arms around me, warmth, being wanted. Mind you, I probably shouldn’t have. Those weren’t your arms, your warmth, your wanting, and every time we made love I imagined making love to you only to open my eyes and finding myself in bed with a total stranger. Why on earth didn’t you ever tell me what went on in your head?

To this day I don’t know why. Well, yes and no. I knew I couldn’t face your anguish with my own pain. There was never a moment in my life I didn’t love you, want you, need you. And there I was planning murder and suicide at once. When I found out I couldn’t make children, that was the end. There was no way I would do this to you.

Had it ever occurred to you to ask me and find out how important it was to me?

Of course not. As men tend to do, I assumed. We tried to have a baby, remember? We even had a name for her.

How could you have thought I just wanted a child, any old child ... Having a child with you would have been a glorious dollop of topping to our love! But that was a mind game. I never thought we had to be three to make us complete. The two-of-us was already much more than the sum of its parts. Leaving me when you found out you couldn’t make children so “I wouldn’t suffer” - causing such heartache to both of us... What a fool thing to do.

Well, there I was, facing all sorts of shocks at the same time. Stuff I didn’t tell you then: my former wife gave me hell for 12 years because she wanted kids. Suddenly, one day, she was pregnant. She was glowing, I wasn’t sure. When our daughter was born I fell in love – that part you know. Imagine what happened in my head when I found out that this little girl couldn’t possibly have been mine? While I was wading through my own small hell I remembered my ex wife’s recriminations and unhappiness. The only thing I could see was you and I falling into the same trap. You were so young and I loved you so much ... I never thought I’d ever see you again.

What lunacy... I’ll have to sleep on these revelations. It’s getting late, my darling. Let’s talk more tomorrow.

Yes, my love, my life, my lover. Let’s go and sleep. It’s nearly pumpkin time and your birthday is almost over. Tomorrow you’ll be all grown up! Oh, to be only 92, in love with my own wife and dancing cheek to cheek with her when she turns 80! To have found you again! Thank you, internet, God bless!

... my darling man, please hang my present up over there where I can see it. It’s beautiful. Who would have thought I’d own a purple hat one day!

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Comments by other Members

jacks_domino at 14:01 on 25 July 2006  Report this post
What an unexpected piece of writing. I liked it a lot, it makes me wonder of your inspiration for this!

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