not in our stars, but in ourselves
You didn’t think I’d let VD pass in the rest of the world without commemorating it, did you? Here you go, America and elsewhere. A real love story, one for the ages – told by the lovers themselves. Enjoy.
“I cannot imagine life without him. I love him. I adore him. Our love is so deep that I don’t give a goddamn what people think or say about us. If you have a real relationship with your lover, you can do anything and make it magic.”
“I love not being Elizabeth Taylor, but being Richard’s wife. I would be quite content to be his shadow and live through him.”
“We arrived exactly at the same moment. The top of his car was down, he was terribly sun-tanned and his hair was cut very short. I hadn’t seen him since Cleopatra. I was sitting in the back seat with my parents and he didn’t see us right away. He looked nervous, not happy, but so marvelous. His eyes were like bright blue bulbs, and he was looking around. And all of a sudden I got like first-night fear — I couldn’t get out of the car. I grabbed one arm of my father and one arm of my mother and I said, ‘Oh, doesn’t he look wonderful? Oh, I don’t know what to do, I’m scared.’ I didn’t know how to get out of the car. My mother put her arms around me, and said, ‘Have a lovely day, baby.’ My father put his arms around me and kissed me. By that time, he’d seen us and he walked up to the car and said hello kind of shyly. I said hello, and began to stammer. My father gave me a shove, and I got out and we shook hands. Finally, Richard gave me a peck on the cheek. We stood there looking at each other. I had just washed my hair and I had on a brand-new dress. He’d just washed his hair and it was all shiny. And we said at the same moment, ‘Well you look marvelous.’ And everything we said for about an hour, was you know, at the same moment and the same words. Then there’d be these awful silences when we couldn’t say anything. It was like my first date when I was sixteen, and it was as though he’d never seen a girl before. At last we began to relax and we had lunch at a place overlooking the lake. Then he drove me home. We didn’t even kiss.”
“I’ll carry you off on a white charger but I’d prefer it if it was the other way around. I’m a hopeless romantic and want to be romantically swept away. In the meantime we will be loving and sweet – but someday, you son of a bitch, something will make you realize that you cannot live without me and you have to marry me, otherwise your life will not be complete.”
– in a letter to him before their second marriage in 1976
And from Burton…brace yourselves, kids, because this is some Pablo Neruda-level love poetry:
“You must realize I worship you.”
“I love Elizabeth to the point of idolatry but – let’s repeat that ‘but’ – she will unquestionably be…late for the last bloody judgement. And, infuriatingly, she is always breathtakingly on time. She actually misses no train or plane or boat, but, of course, misses the fact that her husband has had several minor heart attacks waiting for her while he shifts a shivering scotch from his trembling hand to his quivering mouth to his abandoned liver, waiting, waiting, waiting for her to come out of the lavatory….there is my stupendously serene lady, firmly believing that time waits for no man but will wait for her.”
– “Traveling with Elizabeth, by Her Husband Who Loves Her in Spite of It”
“I fell in love with her at once. She was like a mirage of beauty of the ages, irresistible, like a pull of gravity. She has everything I want in a woman.”
“The last day of March,
My darling Sleeping Child, I am oddly shy about you. I still regard you as an inviolate presence. You are as secret as the mysterious processes of the womb. I’m not being fancy…I have treated women, generally, very badly and used them as an exercise for my contempt – except in your case.
I have fought like a fool to treat you in the same way and failed. One of these days I will wake up – which I think I have done already – and realise to myself that I really do love. I find it very difficult to allow my whole life to rest on the existence of another creature. I find it equally difficult, because of my innate arrogance, to believe in the idea of love. There is no such thing, I say to myself.
There is lust, of course, and usage, and jealousy, and desire and spent powers, but no such thing as the idiocy of love. Who invented that concept? I have racked my shabby brains and can find no answer.
But when people die, those who are taken away from us can never come back. Never, never, never, never, never (Lear about Cordelia). We are such doomed fools. Unfortunately, we know it. So I have decided that, for a second or two, the precious potential of you in the next room is the only thing in the world worth living for. After your death there shall only be one other and that will be mine. Or I possibly think, vice versa.
And loving Rich”
“Continued with the same gifted pen. It’s no use pretending that you are an ordinary woman. Quite clearly, like this pen, you are not. I don’t mean, for a second, that you are in any way comparable with a pen. And yet you are, like this divine pen you are heavy and light at the same time.… How [to] watch the puritanical face relax into slow lust? How to watch that watch catch its breath, and, for a speck of a speck of a millionth of a second, become the animal that all men seek for in their women? And since we’re talking of pens and you, how [to] watch the ink splurge out of the pen … reach[ing] out from the inner depth of the divine body. Will you, incidentally, permit me to fuck you this afternoon? Yours truly (you have just come into the room), R.B.”
Hope you’ve all had lovely Valentine’s Days, whether celebrating with someone else or just with the stars here.