Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is hostile. Love is cold.
Recently I fell in love with someone for the first time in just about 5 years. Head over heels. When your heart breaks you swear to yourself you’ll never be so foolish again. You’re vigilant in your declaration at first, but over time the memories begin to fade. The longing creeps back in. As the 8th Save the Date with an empty numerical check box is mailed you start to reconsider. We’re wired to love. We should love. What is the harm in giving it another try?
When we truly fall in love with someone, they take a part of us with them. Parts we don’t always get back. Sure there were flings and casual dating before I met him, but when you meet THAT person you know right away. The best way I can describe it is feeling like you’re weightless. The thought of waiting for them after work at a crowded burrito restaurant for even an unreasonable about of time fills you with the kind of fluttery happiness usually reserved for illicit substances. The original illicit substance having been getting to this point. All of a sudden you’re in it. Really in it. The memories begin. The ones that can’t be erased. The kind that make nothing feel like everything. You and me.
I’m haunted in flashes now. The finality in his tone. The severity of the words. Memories moving through my mind like an hourglass. Sifting over where we went wrong. I won’t get into the reasons. There are always reasons. I flip it over and start again.
In a matter of moments an entire relationship can be reduced to memories. I watched it happen in an instant. He’d gone dark. Termination of communication. After he told me I watched him walk back from the car with my things leftover from our camping trip. Standing there with arms full of the two inflatable donuts we’d spent the last few days laying around on holding whichever limb we could find and talking about our forever together. It is those thoughts and those glimpses of my life that I will forever wonder about. The names we’d said to each other. The way the sky looked behind his smile. The fullness in my heart.
When you fall in love, you don’t always know why. It is in everything. The way he slept. The photo of his helmet he sent me the day after we met. The way he’d message me he was thinking of me. His vow to be sober with me without a second thought. Our shared love for water bottles and Dennys on birthdays. I swear I never loved him more than when he didn’t even flinch about waiting 45 minutes to eat at the Cheesecake Factory on a Friday night. When you love someone life just gets better. Whether it be eating a meal or taking the bus.
Of course there were the bad times too, and those old habits die hard. Despite one’s best efforts, sometimes the alternative outweighs the risks in love. Which is how I arrived here on this Saturday afternoon. There are two people in love. Neither with a lifetime guarantee. When one goes dark, the other is left to accept it.
Through my tears and into my 37th hour, I am humbled by my heart and oddly comforted by the state I find myself in. I know now that even this ultimate price is still one I’ll gladly pay. For the bad and the good.
We should not fear love. We should celebrate it when it is thriving. Mourn it when it’s gone. Find solace in the sentiment that even for a fleeting moment you were with someone who made the world stand still. It is my hope for everyone that we find that person where it remains.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Until then, we have our own hearts.