I wonder if we are in love.
I don’t mean this as an insult to all two years and four months of us. Those individuals that we were, the individuals we have become, and those people we have yet to be are vital. They are important people, even if I don’t believe it always. One day I will. One day I did. And one day I can do so again. We both can.
But what I’m pondering is less of a statement for the two of us, but a question of what is when we just are.
Think about it. To be human is to see immortality around, to know that we are part of it, and that somehow at the same time we are not. Love is no exception. It was here before we met in that easy accident of a violent, lip-shattering collision gone right. The billions of uses said by billions of people in billions of different ways are contained in the pregnant word – a word that gave birth to you and I. The artifacts of meaning cling like an umbilical cord that cannot be cut.
Do they smell? Are they rotten? Are we?
Love used to be rational. It was one plot of land for another down under. A few hundred dirty pigs for an upright, clean pig. It was an equation to be solved, pondered over, reworked, and then celebrated in the quiet circumstances that allow goods to be bought and sold. It was a free market that specialized in shackles.
Love has since changed. Romanticism sexed the term into a card-giving, flower-smelling, fart-stifling madness. People hunt for the complete, whole being to make them complete and whole. Love becomes a person who is like them but not. Who excites them. Who keeps them happy. Who makes them comfortable. Who is comfortable. Who is okay with being comforted too.
Love, then, is not the climax; it is a continual high, a peak that can hardly be called as such for a peak slouches, it points, it ends somewhere at some time and then comes back down to a flat, listless base. Love, as it is throttled down our little air ways, as it tangles itself on our tongues, is the plateau that we cannot imagine, a metaphor that we do not have and thus a conceit. It is four letters that when put together mean nothing at all except for the fact that they are all we have.
This, though, is hogwash. The precondition of love cannot be romance. Nor can it be a rational analysis. It must be something in between. Maybe something in between your legs, for example.
While that’s crude enough, it’s partly true. Love defined with others by others for others does not fit us. We’ve grown fat with each other and skinny jeans can hardly climb our ankles nowadays. They are stuck on your toes, and God and I both know you have great feet. I don’t want to block them.
What I’m saying is that both previous conceptions of love are based on the principle idea of not knowing oneself. They deny the intricacies of an individual and couple the uncertainties with someone else who is just as uncertain. They deny what drives someone, instead focusing on what is worthwhile to drive for and towards. Money. Happiness. The ability to find someone for your parents, for yourself, for that other person.
But this is a result of not ever finagling the details of our lives, laying them out, and realizing we’re all insane. You and I are no different. I need to ensure that your lips don’t touch the lid of my bottle, but I’m sunny when they touch me all they want. You go bonkers when my place is not clean, but you don’t mind being a raunchy, sweaty mess in my arms.
This, I feel, is why I end all my letters in I love you madly. Because I’m mad and I know it because of you and your madness.
What I’m getting at is while satisfaction and happiness and rationalization are all good reasons for love and while they are all interconnected relations to the word like cousins popped out of illicit marriages and one-night stands, they are not what we have as far as I can see it. We do not have love. Others have love. We have we.
This means that sometimes we are unhappy, sometimes we aren’t, and then with whatever’s left, we are just okay, and that is okay. We are coming to know ourselves not through each other, but through ourselves. We are able to understand who we are, what we like, and what we don’t like. Together, we are just catalyses to realizations we’d hope to have one day.
For example: this letter is too long and I’ll end it here in a way that was promised from the beginning of this relationship where love seemed like the only option. Now we know better.
Love you madly,