I only care about poetry and passion. I want to be in love but I know that I can’t construct love. I know that I have to wait for it. And I know that it is inevitable. I’ve had love before and I know I’ll have love again. I worried about my sex drive but I see now that I am passionate about sex when there is passion involved – when I am in love. And you being in love with me doesn’t matter. People have loved me before and what difference has it made? Unless I’m in love with you, unless I feel like life isn’t worth living without you, then I don’t love you. There are no grey areas with my love, no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise. I have to be absurdly, wildly, passionately in love with you, or else not at all. And right now, I’m not in love with anyone. I’m in love with love. I’m reading love letters and I’m picking out quotes, recognising feelings I’ve felt before, hoping to one day feel those feelings again, knowing that I can never contrive it. I’m okay with that.
Yesterday I sold strawberries and read love letters and got burned by the sun. And in that tiny shack where love grew and wilted away, I was reminded of three years ago, four years ago, when I was hopelessly in love with D. Sometimes hindsight shows us where we went wrong, shows us the cracks and flaws we didn’t see back then, but now all I see is a perfect relationship. No, that’s not true. I see graffiti that you drew just to make me happy. You made fun of someone because you knew it would boost my self-esteem, you knew it would make life easier for you. But, looking back, I realise that that’s all it was. It was only ever intended to make me feel better, you didn’t really believe what you were writing and drawing. I guess that’s love. Or something. Maybe you just wanted to keep the peace. I don’t blame you. I’m hard work.
I don’t know if what I ever felt was real love. I mean, I know that I was in love but I don’t know if it was reciprocated. Then again, someone (I don’t know who) said, “The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their own kind of love to give, not our kind.” Another wise soul said,
Because that’s the thing about love, really. No one will love you how you want to be loved, they’ll love you in the only ways they know how. Life throws everyone down drastically different paths, so how can we expect everyone to love in the same way? The person you’ll spend your lifetime with will love you in their way and you’ll love in yours, and maybe you’ll meet in the middle and it’ll last. None of us know what we’re doing, you see, we’re just fumbling for matches in the dark. If you’re lucky, you might just strike the right one.
Too often, I rely on other people’s words to say what I cannot. But that sums up what I feel about love, what I’m still learning about love. I think almost everything I’ve learned about love and relationships, I’ve learned since I’ve been single. In the last year and a half, I’ve learned that you can’t trick love, you can’t fool love. Love either is or it isn’t. I guess some people are able to construct it and contrive their feelings, but I can’t. I never could. For me, love has to be organic. Love has to exist or grow of its own accord, with no instruction from me. I guess that’s dangerous, letting your heart love whoever it wants to love. But what’s the point otherwise? It’s dangerous but at least it’s real.
All of my summers have a theme and I guess this one is Me Figuring Out Love. What a futile endeavour! I will never understand my own heart. Maybe no one does. Maybe you just love who you love and that’s it. And maybe I’m looking in all the wrong places for something I would like to call love. But, right now, recognising love is enough.