I used to be subject to an excitable heart. Romantic sentiment spurred me on until my insides fought such rapid and irregular beats that it invariably drove me to illness and despair. It was simply not in my nature to love placidly. Therefore, in order to save my health and sanity, I renounced the enterprise altogether. I am convinced that I could not have achieved the success that is now mine, had I not firmly and consciously distanced myself from the part of me that – so it seems now – solely and wildly existed for love. Curiously, I never discarded the notebooks I used to fill at the time, in the deepest hours of night; going through them now, one passage in particular strikes me as emblematic of the peculiar state in which I would be thrown. I record it here as a reminder and warning to myself, so that I may never again surrender to fruitless emotion:

“All I can think of – and my mind propels me ceaselessly, relentlessly towards the idea – is to stand somewhere, at any point in the world – location irrelevant – with her against me; her head nestled under my chin, our eyes closed and she inhaling in soft intervals the air around my neck, my arms as if they died around her shoulders, the two of us standing in absolute stillness, together somewhere separated from the world, our existences providing the only sensation; pressed so near in space but somehow removed from time’s violence, buried alive but sharing a breathing space; each moment an opportunity to speak, but potentiality rendering us mute; she tries to move closer – impossible – but I sense the attempt and know she loves me; I try to move an arm but cannot and she knows it and knows I love her; every extraneous thought banished, awake but dreaming each other…”

Reading those words now brings a flush of shame to my face. Thankfully, I never shared the content of my notebooks with anyone. I remain convinced that the willful expulsion of those erratic feelings was necessary. Yet I find it difficult to shake the thought that I may have lost something…