Love Stories (Part Four)

You knew I would change my tune eventually, didn’t you? You knew I’d come around, be open to romantic love, want to find someone special. Hmmm…

I suppose, in some ways, this is true. I no longer want to get my kicks from licking the oil off of the backs of psychedelic toads. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see part two of my “Love Stories” series.) I guess I could, maybe, possibly, sort of accept a companion in my life.

I don’t know that I want to be swept off my feet, slave to the pleasantries of infatuation, but I wouldn’t mind someone to talk to, to dine with, to play. Someone I dig and someone who digs me. So, my tune? My love cynicism? What has become of them now?

In “Almost, Maybe Love Stories (Part Two),” I quoted a desperate love letter from the medieval Heloise to her lover Abelard. After quoting her intensely distressed letter, I stated: “Maybe, unlike Heloise, I want to stop while I’m ahead so as not to feel like I have no reason to continue ‘on the pilgrimage of life’.”

I don’t believe, right now at least, that love has to be desperate. It, of course, does not need to make one feel suicidal. I must have chosen that passage out of fear, perhaps, or at least out of criticism.

So, I ask myself, where do I stand?

Recently, a divorced friend confided in me that he was the only one in his family (extended and immediate) to end a marriage. His parents have been blissfully married for forty years and he feels like he is now too old (not true!) to carry on the forty year tradition. The thought that he failed, the idea of being single again, the fact that he sees such harmonious and heavenly success in his immediate family makes him a wee bit sick. He has, like me, expressed a desire to ward off love, to protect himself from future hurt. He has also expressed my same sense of cynicism: Is true love really real? If so, does it last? He would rather be single then be in a sick web of mess. I get it. I do. But, for better or worse, he has, right in front of his face, proof that it can work. How beautiful. How demeaning.

The truth of the matter is that we, as humans, crave intimacy. No, beyond crave. We need intimacy. It helps make us tick. And romantic intimacy: Yum! In fact, in discussing the lack of physical and emotional contact in some orphanages around the world, Scientific American states that: “Many children who have not had ample physical and emotional attention are at higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow up.” We need this contact. So, maybe all I need is a hug.

I have relied, over the past year and a half, on the support and platonic, seemingly unconditional, love of family and friends. I have happily surrendered to this love, sinking into a warm bath affection and care. This has sustained me, for the most part, through transition and, yes, loneliness. But now, as so many people, I am desiring something more.

Oh no!

The trouble is, and here I go again, that I am so uncertain about romance and companionship. Do I want something nice for now? Do I want to try my hand at a long-term partnership? Do I even believe in the constitution of marriage or the idea that love can sustain itself over time? I don’t know and I don’t need to know. I guess it’s all that one day at a time baloney.

And, even though I feel more receptive, more open, I still can’t muster up the inspiration or the energy to write a positive love story. It’s just not me and that’s okay. I am, however, working on a mysterious tale about a dead body and the family that carries the body to a river and lets it drift. How fabulously different!

So, one day at a time. Or, even, one moment. Love, love, and more love. Where are you hiding? And, when will you be knocking at my door? And, when you knock, how will I accept you?

We’ll see. We’ll see.



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