Diary of a Separation

On the road to a better relationship (first and foremost with myself)

Wednesday 30th January 2019

Cursed is the relationship where one party becomes the lodger in a shared home. Not in a rent-paying kind of way. But in a distance-generated way. That certainly happened between S and me. I became the housemate. I woke up today thinking that as our children grew up and started withdrawing from our communal spaces to the privacy of their rooms, I, too, created a gap between my wife and me.

My fear is that I could make a similar mistake in the future. I know this is unlikely, as I’ve learnt a lot about myself, my flaws and my aspirations in these almost-two-years since S and I split up. But as I crank up a gear and go in search of that person I would ultimately like to spend the rest of my life with (or, failing that, a huge chunk of it), I listen to the little voice in my head telling me to keep both my feet on the ground. Is Ao that person? It remains to be seen.

Tonight I cycled to the Goethe Institut to watch Haus Ohne Dach, a film about identity, belonging and our notions of these two concepts. Three siblings born in Iraqi Kurdistan, but raised in Germany, travel to their mother’s village after she dies. Her desire was to be buried in the same place where she was born. Along the way, the two brothers and one sister confront not only long-kept family secrets but also their own relationship as siblings.

On my way back home I began to think of the book I want to publish. In reality I need an editor more than a publisher. Someone who can scrutinise my drafts and be frank and honest about them without taking away their essence and my ownership of them.

London-based, Cuban writer. Author of “Cuban, Immigrant, and Londoner”, to be published by Austin Macauley. Has written for The Guardian and Prospect.

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