Love’s a hard bargain. Out of billions upon billions of people, of which you’ll only meet a few, out of the millions upon millions of those who live in the country you inhabit, of which you didn’t have much say in, out of the thousands upon thousands who you see daily, of which most are a blur of strangers taking on a chaotic equation of random time and space and tying your shoe here, not there, going to the bathroom then, not now, out of the languages you know and don’t, out of the interests you have or don’t, out of the short moments you leave for relationships or don’t, love seems unlikely. There are just too many unknowns, too many things that aren’t yet experienced. What of a Japanese man in Morocco who speaks a tongue-tying amount of French but flirts really well in Korean? What if you met him at a beach on a sunny day with the soundscape of a foreign land whistling in your ears just as it does to a commoner, telling you that you can be one all the same? What if you met him while it was raining? If it was during the Grand Prix? What if he was a driver in one of the Formula 1 cars? What if he was a mechanic? What if he was a she?
I don’t know. I can safely say you don’t either. The problem is that I can’t say anything about this man or woman and I can’t say what love’s happenstance looks like for them. Perhaps it’s an Iranian-Canadian girl during a morning tutorial of antiquity, who writes softly on paper torn and wrecked. Perhaps it’s a Polish-Canadian man, though probably not.
Love’s little luck is pressed even more by its very existence. Whether you love or not is decided by whether you have loved or not. The same could be said of most things; previous relationships colour current ones. An abusive lover may make you seek that bruised and battered affection. It can turn you away from human interaction entirely. So, too, can the most pleasant caress or hug or kiss that leaves an imprint that can never quite be filled, unless there’s just one more, one more kiss.
Yet, we love. This is despite knowing what could be there, what is there, and what will be there, wherever that is. It’s foolish. It’s shortsighted. It’s love – trying to see a picture without correcting glasses, or eyes for that matter. All we have is our fumbling hands which cannot untie a knot or a brastrap. We feel. This is it – a call back to primitivism. We spread our fingers wide and try to find another hand. We hold. For a while, an elbow is mistaken for a knee, a nose for a finger, until we learn the contours of our bodies, the sign language of shoulder shrugs, and the Braille of goosebumps.
With these same hands, I’ve questioned our love before. I’ve dissected our history in a cold rigor, killing the passion. I’ve operationalize the terminology, limiting us to mere semantics. And I’ve drowned the tacit understandings, the unifying feelings, the emotions that need not be named for to do so would shatter the spell in vague, incomplete, ever-inaccurate words like these.
Only through plummeting through this self-created black hole do I realize that I was wrong to commit such critical filtering. Our love should not be probed to be understood. Only we should be analyzed. Love is just a product of us. It is not the product.
Sure it could be said that without love there would be no us and this flexible feeling fuels our continual connection. But this is too simple, too convenient. We are we for we are we – two individuals who did not know love, did not describe it, did not have it suddenly dawn on them. Instead, we found comfort. Small, measured bits of safety. A person to talk to. It was enough. It is enough. It is what I look forward to daily.
On Valentine’s Day, I wish for the same: a past, present, future told in hand-holding as opposed to palm reading. I was luckily enough to have it. I did not need a Grand Prix, besides for the clichéd heart racing. I did not need to be Japanese, though we ate Asian food today. I just needed to be me, and for that, I needed you, and for that, I needed we. It is that collective who I love. It is us – a we who loves we.
Love you madly,