Future Perfect

The blessing of a lover who never arrives is that you may wait forever in that state of delicious agony, anticipating a moment that will always float before you in splendid future perfect. You will not meet with disappointment or be faced with impossible choices. There will be no life-changing precipice to leap over. You may carry on, one day blurring into the next, growing older and less desirable, without the fear of having to confront the depressing realities of time’s mistreatment.

There will be no excruciating goodbyes because there will never be a glorious hello. You can dream about how it will unfold endlessly and never be wrong. That first kiss will be all you have ever desired, your first embrace will be the truest thing you will ever feel. His touch, his scent, his voice will always be, in that always yet to be future, sweet beyond imagining.

And there will be no others to compare with the lover who never arrives. They will have spent their arrivals in vain, squandered them on a woman who greeted them with a smile while glancing over their shoulder to the empty street beyond. She was only practicing on them. Only going through the motions. They will never be enough because they were present in the present, real and concrete in their hungers, hard in her hand. Already past. There is no adequate apology for their untimely comings and goings. They’ve betrayed her simply by being real, by allowing themselves to be caught in time and swallowed by its event horizon.

Never fall in love with a woman who is waiting. Especially if you’re the one who kept her waiting. Just like a little boy who, once  entranced by the woman wearing the shoe, learns to accept the impossibility of his desire and settles for the shoe, she has long since acknowledged the futility of you and has fallen hopelessly in love with waiting itself.

(on reading Jacques-Alain Miller’s “An Introduction to the Erotics of Time” Lacanian Ink 24-25 (Spring 2005), pp 8-63)

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation