I’m interested in love.
My personal editor just stepped in, ‘Now don’t just go cracking this subject open, willy-nilly, like some sort of glorious walnut that you can examine the insides of. You look like an idiot, pretending to lay things out on the table and understand. This is not a clinical topic.’
It’s not. And I don’t pretend to understand it. But you can observe the top layer, and that’s enough to wonder at.
Love is responsible for some of the most baffling behavioral extremes of human nature.
And sometimes it seems so freakin’ predictable. For instance, put a male and a female in a platonic relationship, tweak one of their lives so there’s a major shift in their outlook, throw in some obstacles and maintain the trust of their former communication, and Voila! They’re gonna turn it into a romance thing, it’s just a matter of time.
That pisses me off a little. I don’t want love to just need the right ingredients at the right time, and then it comes out the other end like a spice cake. (I haven’t had breakfast yet, can you tell?)
Isn’t that awful though? What business is it of mine, if Herbert and Sasha discover this burgeoning passion growing out of years of gardening together?
Well. I can console myself that not everybody’s right for each other. In fact, hardly any are. A measly few of the sum total of all romances embarked upon are successful, and it’s a handful who find the right one, find them and know it in their hearts. And even when that happens, there’s no guarantee that the other person will feel the same way, or that circumstances, fate, the ‘fuck-you-hoopla’ as I like to call it, won’t step in and just destroy it all to pieces.
Does that make me feel better then? Maybe. Not that love seems more exclusive, exactly, but that there is a level less manipulatable, there isn’t any faking or concocting or conjuring the genuine article out of proper ingredients. You can do so much to care for and maintain a relationship, but at basis there’s still that undefinable element. They still hafta be your heart’s desire, and there’s no telling why they are or aren’t. (The grammar gods just put me on their hit list)
S’true. People get the craziest yens. Why do we want who we want? There’s a whole bunch of disguises for these things, a whole bunch of bullshit reasons we come up with to explain. Often times an unfathomable love is jotted down to some sort of psychological short coming. Age disparity: Oh, she has a daddy complex. Oh, he’s having a mid-life crisis. Oh, he or she is a control freak.
Uneven socio-economic status? Then one of them is ‘slumming it’. Different race? ‘Jungle fever’. It becomes a sexual thing, a rebel-tabboo-turn-on situation.
And if you love someone inaccessible you must be protecting yourself. Or if you love someone who doesn’t love you back, you must be doing a psychological self-destruction thing, an ambush. Its all internal mechanisms at play, arising in the brain, making us act out our inner demons like puppets on a cerebral string.
I donno. But naw, because love- I mean LOVE is something else. Ask someone who purports to love you, “Why? Why do you love me?”, they will likely make a noble effort out of listing your good points, the things they adore. You might be a little startled to hear that the set of reasons sounds easily transferable to another member of the human race. But rest assured, likely they didn’t manage the task. They gave you all the dear, wonderful impressions that bolstered their feelings, they told you things about you that give them pleasure to know, but the ‘why’ of it remains a stubbornly hidden mystery.
Why wouldn’t it be a mystery? Have you ever had to try and explain to someone why you didn’t love them anymore? Usually you still do, to some degree, in that you care, terribly. It hurts. You’d almost rather keep your mouth shut, if this is a person you’ve known so well, and whose happiness you want to ensure. But they know. And you know, that your inside has turned away, that it isn’t the same. And the why isn’t exactly graspable.
What we describe most often is not the ‘why’ but the ‘when’. When I knew I loved you: When you came around the corner all disheveled with leaves in your hair, and that grin on your face that made you look like a 12 year old boy about to jump into some kind of happy, innocent mischief.
When your voice, the distress and pain of one syllable cracked the stone in my chest and made my robotic actions, my carefully thought out course of action impossible, and I just stood there, flooded.
When you got in that laughing jag at Outdoor Outfitters and actually ended up on your back, rolling around helplessly in a fit of mirth, tears coming out of your eyes, completely unconscious of all the people staring at you in bewildered awe.
That’s what we remember, that’s what we can describe. Not the why, but the when of love.
So this is for… it’s for everybody. Not just married, not just ‘involved’. This question is for anyone who has felt it, whether they kept it or lost it, it’s still there- the real thing. Love.
When did you know? Was it the moment you saw them, or was it another moment that still fills you up inside? When did you know, and what was your reaction when it happened? How did you respond to the knowledge of genuine love?