thoughts on love


It’s 2:33, I am broken hearted and my suitcase is drifting between my feet as the train moves. The suitcase with all my shit. The suitcase I used to pack and leave my horrible relationship. The train isn’t crowded. Everyone is sitting down and there are still seats to spare, but directly across from me are two people who don’t even notice I’m here. Whenever you have a broken heart, New York graces you by arranging you in front of two people who couldn’t be more in love. 

I’m staring at them and they can’t tell, or maybe they don’t care. They are preoccupied with each others gaze. Smooching begins; very loud ones. At an inappropriate volume it seems like. *SMOOCH* I look to see if anyone else wants to be offended with me. No one joins. Two lips squeezing and puckering, a sound so distinct. *SMOOCH* Their eyelashes are pointed downwards, to stare at each others mouths, as if falling into them wasn’t enough.*SMOOCH* Their eyes only rolled about three to four inches vertically across each others face. What stop are they getting off at? They don’t care. 

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*SMOOCH* They are the kinds of kisses that start in a smile and end in a smile. Each lip flushed from the blood underneath, spreading the redness around their lips.*SMOOCH* I don’t know what to feel. The obvious choice would be anger or jealousy. *SMOOCH* But it was disgust. The sound of their kissing *SMOOCH* reminded me of the sounds of sex. The sounds of sharing bodies and being excited about being vulnerable; feelings of which I am the opposite. *SMOOCH* Was this the sound that was playing when I fell in love? *SMOOCH* Was this the track that slipped me into the same love I was spilling out of?*SMOOCH* What an awful sound; like jazz gone bad. How could I have been foolish enough to fall for that? For such cheap a sound. Can maybe, the next time, I fall for something a bit more tasteful? Something that promises more? 

A few months later, my heart was beating normally, without pain dripping out. He asked me what I wanted. No. He asked me “I wonder what fulfillment feels like to you’. This was in the middle of a bunch of texts soaken damp with complaints. Texts that didn’t need to be answered, but he answered them anyway. He asked me what I wanted. I told him I was miserable. That I was mad at myself. It was a day where I didn’t get much done. A day where I flew from one distraction to the next. I was texting to avoid work, to avoid responsibilities, to avoid my head. I got on the train again, to go to my mom’s house and I actually turned back home, got a bottle of whiskey, got naked and danced to The Doors. That just made more sense. 

‘I want to be in love.’ is what I told him. I wasn’t talking about being in love with him, but I think he knew that. I was just talking about being in love. I told him that I felt like a blob and that maybe if I was in love, I wouldn’t feel like a blob. And not a boyfriend. Nothing says ‘not in love’ as much as a boyfriend. I’m talking about the shit you get right before he is your boyfriend. That honey that collects on the brim of officialness that you can feed on for weeks. He told me he knew more about wanting to be in love than actually being in love. I told him that was deep. I told him I haven’t had the experience in years. ‘Me either’ he said ‘and I’ve been restless as a result.’ This is when I told him about how I came home to dance. I knew the restlessness he was talking about. I knew about the feeling of wanting to shake something out of your body. 

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I said, when you’re in love, nothing else matters. He said that that scared him but that he also wanted it so bad. He also said he didn’t know if he could afford the distraction. I told him everything else was the distraction, stay woke. And there we were, adults, speaking about wanting to be in love. The trance that seemed easy to slip into during the teenage years is now under our mature inspection; not as inviting as the fresh snow it used to be. Whatever was in Frank Sinatra’s lungs,I want that. That burst of energy. That purpose. I understand that this is the cheap way out. Fall in love to forget your worries ranks pretty high on the scale of pathetic, but so is life. This whole shit is pathetic. 

I have to be careful next time to not fall in love with an illusion. Love is so desirable that you can mess around and find yourself being in it alone. I did not fall in love with a man. I fell in love with his shadow. It looked like a man but it was all lights. No, it was something covering the light and for some reason I was squinting so hard, I thought it was a person. I gave my heart to a shadow. It was the weirdest thing. I did fall in love with a man once though and it was so warm that I slipped right into it. Falling in love with him was like falling asleep on an airplane, before I knew it, I was there. This is the most dangerous kind of love. A love that gets grows wilder the more you try to tame it. If you bite it, it will bite you back, and to your horror, feel good. This love gets you in all types of trouble. Deleting text messages kind of trouble. We can’t do this anymore because she might find out kind of trouble. 

God obviously has a sense of humor because love is an insatiable joke. Swallowing even the smartest of us whole and spitting us out into the fools we really are. Each of us have a stupid button and a love button and I’m pretty sure that if you open the hood,  they both work the exact same way. And maybe that’s why love feels so free. There’s no pressure to make sense. It’s the only time we give ourselves permission to be stupid and it feels so damn rewarding, at least in that moment. You get to ride the clouds of IDGAF for at least a couple months, a year if you’re lucky, and that ride makes it worth giving your heart out again and again; at least for the bravest of us. 

Alex Wolf