When I was younger, I thought that "companionship" was a ridiculous reason to stay coupled. The idea sounded dreadfully boring. Practical. Devoid of magic. I required burning passion or nothing at all!
My absolute favourite play is Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Two tramps, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for the arrival of one called Godot. Whilst waiting, the tramps humour themselves with non- sequiturs, stories and silly pranks. Act 1 ends; Godot hasn't arrived. Act 2 opens with Vladimir and Estragon still stuck in a silly - albeit increasingly agitating - cycle of waiting, as though hamsters in wheels. The play ends; Godot hasn't arrived.
Who or what Godot is, we're never told. Why the wait, we never find out. Whether he arrives eventually, we haven't got a clue.
It's easy to accuse Beckett of painting a bleak picture of human existence - that he interprets life as a useless, senseless collection of silly events that never, ever correlate. And even more so, it's easy to get angry at the tiresome repetitiveness of it all - that Beckett seems to relish reinforcing his message (whatever it may be) through repetition. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I love Waiting for Godot for one, simple reason: the play ends with Vladimir and Estragon still waiting. Together.
Our two tramps have petty, little arguments that they seem to forget within seconds. There's the sustained tension of one possibly leaving the other throughout the duration of the play. And yet, because they inadvertently stick together through every bizaare circumstance, we can be sure that they'll still be together in Act 3 - if it were, indeed, to be written.
Alas, Beckett is dead.
But hope is alive. OK, that's seriously cheesy. But that's what I choose to believe. Because Vladimir and Estragon are together, the individual character is liberated from the lonesome cycle of hermetic existence, waiting for something uncertain. Undefined.
After four years of togetherness, Chris and I have grown into solid togetherness. We're lovers. And we're also best friends.
Suddenly, companionship seems - could it really be? - sexy.
Chris & James