And even though I remember it happening and the way I felt and how it was suddenly as if everything made sense to me, like life itself had finally shown me a meaning, I couldn’t tell you why I plummeted so uncontrollably and instantly or what caused me to thump thump thump when I landed. But that is the nature of the beast I guess and although every single one of us thinks we know what we want or what we need or who we need, we don’t really know, not really, we don’t, ever, do we? No. Yet still I remember every single detail. Every tiny inconsequential footnote. Every thought. Every urge. Every touch. Every smell. Every taste. Every look. I remember when it dawned on me, the beginning and the end. I remember the first kiss, the first time I made her laugh, the first time I made her cry, the first time I realised I was happy, the first time I realised I was depressed. The first time. I remember feeling sick because I felt so good and sick because I felt so bad. I remember the face. I remember the eyes, the nose, the ears, the lips, the teeth. I remember how her hair fell over one eye. I remember the funny way in which she wiggled her nose. I remember thinking how delicate she was, how fucking fragile and yet how brave at the same time. I remember the body. Naked, stripped and pure. I remember that walk by the sea and that time in my bed. I remember the things that she said and the things I wished she had but never did. I remember knowing and not knowing and believing and not believing and feeling like the planets had aligned and everything was good and then seeing this same world we built collapsing and caving in on itself and crushing us and knowing there was nothing I or we could do to save ourselves no matter how hard we tried. It all becomes so futile. And so I am left asking what it is exactly. What it means. What she meant. How can something or someone that gives you so much take it all away just as easily? I am a sucker to temptation and when I fall, I fall heart-first, head-second with every ounce of me following close behind. Love. All consuming, undeniable, relentless and absurd. It makes us delirious, light-headed, giddy, angry, confused, bewildered, anxious, proud, optimistic, cynical, brave, scared, cold-hearted and weak at the knees. It is the butterflies dancing in our stomachs for that person we know, we’ve heard about, or we imagine to exist. It is the wind in the trees, that boat on the horizon, and the sunrise in the autumn. It is the hairs that stand on end, the hands that squash our soul, and the breath that resuscitates and brings us back to life. It taught me how to be a better person and paradoxically transformed me into an arsehole. It is the best and the worst drug on the market, with more victims, more believers, more addicts than anything else. And most of us are just as helpless as one another, intoxicated by desire and lust and hopes and dreams and movies and music and literature and blind fucking faith. It is not something we can bottle up and collect and administer at will, no matter how many new perfume adverts tell us otherwise. It is not something that can be defined by chocolates or flowers or cute, cuddly toys. Nobody ever really needs to be given a fluffy bear clutching a heart-shaped balloon, and anybody who does demand that they are given such an item, should be dealt with a cold hard slap to the face immediately. If companies and shops really wanted to make a buck on Valentine’s Day, they should sell photographs of a fuck-off nasty grizzly holding an actual human heart aloft in his paw with the caption: this is what you do to me, scrawled in blood underneath. I think more of us might relate to that.

This is a slightly altered version of the monologue I performed at the end of 'Ballad Of A Thin Man.' It was accompanied by a film made by Alastair Sopp (that's a screenshot from it above) featuring Rosa Lily James. There was also music by Seamas Carey.