Did I ever love you, Mr Cohen?

Mr. Cohen,

Allow me to write you now as the moment made it superfluous.

I can still remember myself at 10 years old finding your rhythm too monotonous, your voice too baritonous and your feelings too melodramatic. However the linguistic dynamic of "I'm your man" kept my attention as I was right in the awakening of spring, struggling to understand the concept of love.

We've split for a few years, I could not say how many. "I'm turning tricks, I'm getting fixed, I'm back on boogie street [...]And maybe I had miles to drive and promises to keep". But I see myself through  my med school years returning to you in the middle of my self induced solitude, trying to find my words as you found yours. I read your novels, I took a glance to your life, I danced to the end of love, I wrote, I read again. I closed chapters of my life listening to "Alexandra leaving" in what I felt like an hymn of my force to decide for myself.

You even selected my friends sometimes for when confronted to your words not many could survive. You broke postures of those unfit. And then you singularised those fit, friends who had brains and hearts similar to mine, friends whose witty words and deeds came to accompany me just like your own words.

I bowed to The Gypsy's Wife as this was the way, though in a different meaning, I hoped to earthquake my man's world. I bowed to you when I sang you Happy Birthday in that Romanian september dawn, I kept on bowing as I felt your Anthem quietly swirling on my spine. "Ring the bells that still can ring, forget that perfect offering, there is, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in". You were right once again: it did. And I bathed in its splendour as it poured through that crack.

"I smile when I'm angry but I'd die for the truth in my secret life" to the point where it became truthful and right. In my secret life... And this secret life is the key weapon that supports me to dream that first ... I'll take Manhattan, then I'll take Berlin. It oversees my every step and my every quest. And yes, I love a nice battle with myself from once in a while.

And then I remember when in late july this year, I read about the email you received from a close friend of Marianne, yes, that Marianne, saying she was suffering from cancer. And I remember reading your answer that I should copy right here for the pleasure of weeping through it again:

"Well, Marianne, it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine. And you know that I've always loved you for your beauty and for your wisdom, but I don't need to say anything more about that because you know all about that. But now, I just want to wish you a very good journey. Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road."

The story says that a couple of days later you received an answer from Marianne's friend. It reads:

"Dear Leonard,

Your letter came when she still could talk and laugh in full consciousness. When we read it aloud, she smiled as only Marianne can. She lifted her hand, when you said you were right behind, close enough to reach her.
It gave her deep peace of mind that you knew her condition. And your blessing for the journey gave her extra strength... In her last hour I held her hand and hummed "Bird on the wire", while she was breathing so lightly. And when we left the room, after her soul had flown out of the window for new adventures, we kissed her head and whispered your everlasting words: So long, Marianne"

Therefore you taught me all about the before and the after of love as it should be. You taught me everything about the significant tiny details of life and about how I should not concede with less.

Now did I ever love you, Mr Cohen? Did I ever need you? Did I ever fight you? Did I ever want to?
Was it ever settled? Was it ever over? And is it still raining back in November? You don't need to answer...

It is November and it is raining for some of us. Without you here, this time...