In Another Life

20120403-221520.jpg In another life I loved. Deeply, profoundly, and I believe, unforgettably.
His name was Ellis and I hurt him. Hurt him so terribly, so unforgivably that the guilt haunts me still. Even as I am now, in this life, this body I feel the pain of infinite sadness and sorrow for what I did to him, the one person I had loved and who had loved me.

What, I hear you ask did I do to him to cause this pain, this anguish for a long ago hurt. My answer has to be…I just don’t know. I don’t know what I did to my love all those years ago, but I know it was so dreadful, so deeply affecting for us both that he still stands at my shoulder in silent gentle rebuke.
A vague shadowy form, he invades my dreams at night, and he is always kind, always sweet and loving, and me, I am filled with the same deep love for him which I felt before. Nothing has altered in that respect. Ellis, my loving, beautiful, gentle Ellis. So dear to me and so happy with our love even though he knew it could mean trouble for us both. We didn’t care though, we lived for the day then. We were young….and in love.

He does not hate me, he has forgiven me. But oh God I cannot forgive myself, cannot erase the guilt which has haunted me for nigh on half a century and possibly much, much longer.

I read about men who love other men and their pain, their anguish resonates and makes me weep. I write about them and I know how they feel. I know what they are feeling and my own experiences, which are buried so deep within me, images which are there for so short a time that they barely register, are captured instead on my screen and come from the heart.

Writers will tell you that there within them, is a story which is begging to be written. And so it is with Ellis’ story. It begs, needs to be told. I know it now more surely than ever before. And one day I will tell it. I will relate how it was with us, how we lived and loved in that small seaside town on the edge of Yorkshire.

It will be my Mea Culpa for what ever it was I did to my lover all those years ago. No one deserves it more than he. He’s waited so long for me to make some kind of reparation.

If only, only I knew what it was I had done.

The young man on the left in the above image is what I imagine Ellis looked like. The story is based on my own weird experiences and dreams of a life I honestly believe I had lived around the early part of the last century. The Yorkshire seaside town is Scarborough if anyone wants to look it up on the map. I spent many holidays there with my family as a child, and even then I felt an overwhelming sadness in certain parts of the town. My last visit was in 2000 and I felt it then too.
Only since I began reading and writing M/M stories have other bits of the jigsaw fallen into place. The name Ellis came to me quite out of the blue some months ago when, in a moment of quiet sobbing I had asked ‘Ellis’ to forgive me. Make of it what you will.

South Bay, Scarborough by J.M.W Turner

11 thoughts on “In Another Life

  1. zen and the art of borderline maintenance

    I think it’s beautiful. I know what you mean. When I was a kid I used to dream about and picture a man with long hair, blonde hair, with a reddish-blonde beard, who was my true love. I knew he was from Ireland. Every time I would dream about him he had an Irish accent. In 2006 the name Noah came to me. That same year I met a man named Noel (pretty darn close, huh?) who WAS, in fact, from Ireland, had that Irish accent, but no blonde hair/beard. I have wondered so many times, is this someone from another lifetime?

    This is great Jessie. I believe you. It took me a long time to get to this, but honestly, we are all recycled. How can we not be? When we die we become part of the earth again, nourishing other things – well, obviously if you follow that line of thinking it’s easy to see that a person can indeed become born again, to a whole new being. But then, I’m not sure that our souls go away ever. I feel watched (not in a bad way) by many. So many possibilities for being reborn, but the point is I think it’s real. I think you’ve experienced precisely what you think. I don’t know what you did but I bet you’ll figure it out as you write it! And I, for one, can’t wait to read it if you decide to share it.


  2. onlyfragments

    Just looking at this from a writing standpoint, it’s so refreshing to find someone else whose drive to tell the story is fueled by something deeper, almost something more primal and spiritual, than just the desire to put words on a page (or make money off of those words). Hearing someone else talk like this certainly makes me feel less alone and a little less crazy (or we’re just two crazy peas in a crazy pod, which is just as good) and only strengthens my admiration for you and love of your writing.

  3. jessielansdel Post author

    Ah thank you. I always have had that feeling around that seaside town. And in moments of deep depression there is always *something* I longed and yearned for but never knew what it was. Maybe it’s the past, who knows. And yes, I believe we ARE driven by something much much deeper than monetary gain. Something primal and atavistic, it’s un tangible but it’s there. I’ll shut up now. Lol
    I tell you one thing, I really really wish you could come to the GLBTQ meet in September. That would be awesome. πŸ™‚

  4. Elin Gregory

    I definitely write, as onlyfragments says, to put words on a page. I tell stories because it makes me feel ill and anxious not to and I write because that’s the simplest way of recording them. Nothing primal, atavistic or spiritual about it, I don’t think. But then I’m told that I’m psychically ‘blind’ – for all I know the other world could be yelling in my ears and I’m merrily ignoring it. πŸ™‚

    You should write Ellis’s story. It might be cathartic for you to express all that anguish and guilt. Some authors say that some stories write themselves, Possibly they, as you are, channel past lives. Got to be worth a try.

  5. Vilipend

    “My answer has to be…I just don’t know. I don’t know what I did to my love all those years ago, but I know it was so dreadful, so deeply affecting for us both that he still stands at my shoulder in silent gentle rebuke.”

    Word. This is so true…minus the sodomy in my case.

  6. jessielansdel Post author

    Hmm, I don’t know if Ellis and whoever indulged to that extent. It’d be interesting to know mind you. Watch this space. πŸ™‚

  7. jessielansdel Post author

    I think I spend too much time in t’other world. Lol. At least my family reckon I do. Or in other centuries at least.
    I will give Ellis a go though sometime. Thanks luvvy. πŸ˜‰

  8. Pingback: St Mary’s Church and Castle, North Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. | Defying Leviticus.

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