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He was tall, it goes almost without saying. And hair dark, glossy like a bird's wing. A quick spirit, ready to spark with adventure, but wise with it and frighteningly so. How do I explain the depth of a mind able to penetrate motives and reactions and yet capable of the truest empathy and sensitivity? How do I convey the intellect and the heart so connected that it produced poetry of genius? Now in your mind's eye combine this with a physicality of such clarity and strength, symmetry and fluidity that it seems impossible. Such a paragon. But this is my Diarmid.

When I first saw him, it was an adrenaline seduction. An excitement, because I imagined wildly all the unreachable things such a man might do. His eyes caught my imagination not for any extremity of colour or feeling, but because of the way they skipped from face to face, like a pebble across the ocean, not truly engaging, but assessing, and then alighting upon the one who drew them as sunlight penetrates water and reaches the ocean floor.
I imagined I could see poetry in that mind. And that was before ever we had spoken. I met him at a gathering of friends, plainly I was one more face with a name that floated into the smoke-obscured ceiling, no-one of note. But I watched him all night, speaking with people, watching them succumb with a little smile.
I wondered if he was selfish. Whether he considered his gifts with conceit, whether he knowingly ensnared people, however gently, for his own agendas. Probably he did. Such a gift cannot be carried lightly except by the purest soul. I did not look willingly for his flaws, but my first instinct was to hate him - and why? Because of the probable hurt his allure brought about. Resentment for the damage. But mostly, I think, and reluctantly admit, because I too had fallen. I too had become an acolyte.
Diarmid the strong. Diarmid the poet. Diarmid the unfathomable, unpredictable, untouchable. So untouchable? Am I the one saying this? Yes, even so... even though we were lovers.
It is true.
And I shall never know whether he found something extraordinary in me to connect with, or perhaps it was my perfect ordinariness which made him feel safe. But I touched him - I know that pearly olive skin so well. I was neither the first nor the last, and the knowledge, I admit, gives me pain. To feel this, before we had met, when I was carrying my dreams before each step, I would have named it an 'exquisite' pain, and treasured it.
But I am older now, and I know pain is a friend who comes and goes to remind me of my mortality. A drop in the ocean.
To me Diarmid was the ocean. My Adonis, my Leu, my Apollo, my Mercury. I tried to hold him gently, I tried to look after him and not break his shell. I tried to give him that much. But my care was birthed in clumsiness and Diarmid went away when I was no longer a safe place for him. I suppose that is his legacy, the hole he left in me. Perhaps one could link up all our holes, make a necklace of tears. All of our tears for Diarmid.
Bright one. Did I love you? I can't really say. I didn't even know you well enough to say, though you took me with you on all the midnight rides my first glance had predicted. Though we made love on windy hilltops and laughed together. Though I cooked for you and you tormented me. What was real, Diar, and what wasn't?
Because I never really reached you. And, though you loved so many things, and tried so truly to suck the very marrow of life, where are you now? Did you find your waterfall, did you dive in there to couple with Sulis and make her a gift of your soul?
I will never know - I am left with memories burnt into mine.

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