A post on unrequited love

While I was thinking what to write for today’s post, my mind dug up one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The quote’s from one of his novellas called Memories of my Melancholy Whores. I read it about four years ago because my boss at the time bought it at a CNA before we boarded a flight to Cape Town.



The guy was really fucked up in a lot of ways, but was also a lot of fun. He basically only read books that had some kind of smutty angle and so bought the Marquez book based purely on its title.

We used to work out of a small house in a complex on Grayston Drive in a team of three people, and so I was often left totally alone in the house while my two bosses were out ‘interviewing’ people for the ‘report’ we were working on for an esteemed in-flight magazine.

It took me three or four days to read Memories of my Melancholy Whores, but that novella has had a profound effect on my life.

The story is about a 90 year old man who has only ever slept with whores his whole life. The guy is hung like a mule, but unfortunately is really, really ugly and so finds it impossible to bed normal women.

Obviously as he gets older his appetite for sex decreases and when the novella starts, he hasn’t been with a prozzy for at least a decade.

However, on his 90th birthday he decides to contact his friend, the mistress of his favourite whore house, and ask her a favour. As a birthday present to himself he wants to sleep with a virgin.

Miraculously the old man can still get it up and so, after much debate, the mistress decides to help the old man out and actually finds a 13 year old girl who needs the money desperately and so sets everything up.

Because it’s the girl’s first time, the mistress gives her a powerful kind of sedative to relax her, but gets the dose completely wrong and so when the old man enters the bedroom to deflower his prize, he finds her naked on the bed and fast asleep.



Watching her lying there like that, something miraculous happens. The old man falls completely in love with her. She looks so innocent and so pure, this young girl poised at the brink of becoming a woman, that he doesn’t even touch her that first night, he just watches her sleeping until it starts becoming light outside, then quietly leaves.

There’s a lot more to the story, but you’ll have to read it to find out the rest and I strongly recommend that you do, but the line that really stuck with me goes like this:

‘The invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love.’

It’s weird that my mind dug up that quote because it’s been years since I last experienced the all-consuming feeling that is unrequited love.

And yet, it’s not something you forget easily. Even as I write this at least three or four girls spring to mind that at different times in my life, I was completely in love with and either too afraid to admit it, or even worse, they knew how I felt and just weren’t that into me.



The weirdest case was a blonde girl who used to hang out in our circle of friends post-varsity, we’ll call her Jacqui.

I’d met her a few times, I thought she was smoking hot but that was about it. Then this one night at The Doors in Edenvale we were all sitting on the upstairs balcony and the weirdest thing happened.

I was talking about how varsity sets you up nicely for life because of the simple fact that it teaches you how to digest and understand massive amounts of information. It was a really boring topic of conversation, but the next thing I knew sweet, blue-eyed, blonde-haired little Jacqui sprang to life and spent the next 15 minutes passionately agreeing with me.

I have no idea how the fuck she did it, but during those 15 minutes I fell completely in love with her. To this day I still can’t explain it, but I fell for her so hard and fast that I remember standing by the bar moments later, my heart racing, knocking back as much booze as I could stomach to try and calm down and think straight.

Peggles was with me that night and I remember cornering him at one stage and trying to explain what this girl was doing to me while intermittently punching the wall and eating the ice out of my empty drink.

I felt ill. I drank some more. I don’t think I spoke another word to her the whole night but I so badly wanted to. I watched her dancing for a long time, trying desperately to think up some way to approach her, but… how?

I collapsed in bed that night, drunk and alone, but couldn’t sleep and when I eventually did, I swear I dreamed of her.

But the weirdest thing is I saw her about a week later and felt nothing.

I felt nothing. I mean, had she initiated anything, I would have happily reciprocated, but she didn’t and I just got this feeling like even if I made a move, she wouldn’t be interested and so just as quickly as I fell completely in love with her, I fell completely out of love with her.

Most of the girls I’ve fallen for don’t know I fell for them, well, to my knowledge at least and I wouldn’t change that if I could go back and do it all over again.

Even though it tore me up a lot of the time that some of the girls I was into felt rocks for me, I was also keenly aware of the fact that in many cases, love moves in circles ie. the person you’re chasing is chasing someone else who is chasing someone else and so on.

Also, it felt good to move the world.

It’s all part of one system, it’s all energy being transferred from one form into another into another into another. Love is a powerful form of energy and yes, I might have poured a lot of it out there needlessly, but I guess what I want to say is this: it comes back.


7 Responses to “A post on unrequited love”

  1. 1 Marianna_B
    November 30, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I loved reading this. So true…sometimes you think a guy is into you and you have some sort of connection but then you could see him again and there is nothing there. I do think that guys fall ‘in love’ faster than girls do. We take our time, see if he is worth it, etc. A guy will meet you, start dating you and then two weeks later will tell you he is in love! That is way too fast I think.

    • November 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

      Yeah, I also think guys have a tendency to fall in love faster. I think it’s because guys (well, most guys) exist on a rational / logical plain whereas girls (most girls) exist on an emotional one.

      And so, the minute a guy starts feeling strong emotions, his rational and logical thought processes start breaking down really quickly and it’s easy for him to get lost in the moment and at the drop of a hat, confess his undying love for you.

      Or, worst case scenario, he knows you’re not that into him and he’s trying to sandbag you into feeling something for him. Don’t fall for the bait, relationships that are founded on pity never last.

  2. November 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Great post man!

    Unrequited love can cut you deep and bleed you dry.

    I think it’s safe to say it’s a universal emotion/phenomenon/achille’s heel.

    I have read Memories of My Melancholy Whores. Intriguing read which leaves you questioning real love and whether companionship really is just an extension of your ego, or a soft place to land. I think the message is that unrequited love is violent in its pacifism. It’s neither healthy nor sickening but can make you feel alive and dead at the same time.

    Damn that girl who didn’t love me back!

    Fellow love-burn-victim

  3. 4 Marianna_B
    November 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Wow so true about the part about relationships that are founded on pity. I had a similar experience earlier this year where I went on 6 dates (!) simply because he seemed nice and felt too bad to tell him I didn’t want to date him (plus everyone tells me I’m too picky so thought I would try be more open minded…didn’t work). So a friend told me that she read a quote somewhere that goes likes this:

    ‘A boy might benefit from pity dates, but a man never will’.

  4. 5 PGGLS
    December 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    And then, there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. It’s called unrequited love. On that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one-sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space!

  5. 6 Kambabe
    March 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It is truly better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

  6. 7 john_a
    September 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Reading this post brings some faces flooding back with all the same bitter sweet intensity of emotion that they originally evoked from me.

    Brilliant post!

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