I thought I really knew so much, about what I wanted, about what I assumed I deserved. Life has a funny way of teaching us, the ones who think they know it all, just what is really what. Searching for something prolific to say, I fail in my cowardly attempt.
I wanted things to be like how they are in fairy tales. Even if there is always a happy ending and things can’t always be perfect, I rebelled, hoping that somehow, the universe would give and shake, tremble and tumble-down to my command. I wanted everything to go my way. Luck and chance, in my opinion, should have never been words in my vocabulary. Everything should just go my way.
I never believed in love. Things like love, transparent and abstract, never existed to me. I always felt that every emotion could be tested, and that every person had a breaking point. If something that was truly needed was placed as some kind of bait, depending on the severity of the need, like water or life, anyone might sacrifice the one they “love”. That was not the kind of love I wanted. I wanted the Romeo and Juliet kind of love that could only be torn by death’s merciless hands. That was the kind of love I wanted.
Growing up, the only kind of love I’d hear about was the love that ended in total heart-break, by one’s insatiable sexual appetite, or “just because”. I couldn’t bear to witness the new lines that drove dark grooves into what was once my Mother’s smile that had slowly sunken into despair. I witnessed the misery in my Father’s soul, which, through his eyes, showed the desperate need to escape and a sense of duty that over shadowed that blazing desire. I didn’t want the world to see that glare or those lines. They were tired, and I didn’t ever want to be tired like that. Worse than the look on their faces and in their eyes, was the truth that my siblings and I were the cause, because they were sticking together to give us the life they thought children needed; they wanted to give us a life with both parents. I never wanted another person to feel that, eternally blaming themselves and their parents for bringing them into existence. I hated myself because of their desolation.
It was hard to understand all these emotions, but as a young child, I automatically associated love with pain. I was clueless as to how two spirits could get caught by this intangible force, and lose their souls. I never knew how it grabbed a helpless person and, even if they resisted, how could it suck them in like a great warping field of destruction? What kind of force was this? I did not like it, because it scared me. Everything about it scared me.
I learned, at age 21, what this thing was capable of. Love was an intellect. It was smart. It came out of left field, snuck up and knocked me down, hard, and it used the least obvious human being possible. I was never interested. Far from interested, I had not been so inclined or equipped to love, especially not someone like that of the one Love chose for me. I would often wonder how Love would try to reel me in. I frequently laughed, as if I had experienced its dangerous turbulence, and shook my head, as if to say, “never me. I am not the one”.
I got snatched in, unaware of how deep Loves center could really be, and how thick its hold could be, as it trapped me, like sinking sand. The more I pulled and tugged and tried to get away, the more Loves unchanging, devious, spiteful claws ripped and tore and dug into me, all to reach my heart. I could no longer resist the need to be alone, and after 2 months of talking to this “victim” or “culprit” that had fallen in love with me, this evidently poor soul, within the first two weeks, I accepted his earnest plea, and I became his girlfriend. I became a “girlfriend”. I didn’t even really know what to do, but Love must have been grinning like a Cheshire cat. I became a poor, sappy fool full of lust, gullible, oblivious, drowning deep in its murky waters that had no mercy. I became a soft batch of cookies.
After a few months, I broke up with this arrow gauged bloke, which Cupid sought to destroy. It wasn’t the first time, and certainly, this term (that some call a relationship) went on for about two years, on and off. All of the quarreling and heated debates outweighed the hugs and the smiles. The rainy days outweighed the sunshine, and his many issues clashed with my need for perfection and fairytale endings. I was clueless to the ups and downs, and what I had even wanted, and by loving him, I compromised my make-believe world. It wasn’t beautiful towards the end. As it wound down, it got ugly. I would often vent about how beautiful the beginning was, but that had only been because of loves gargantuan deception. I would remark on how sweet the beginning was, and how much I had seen a change. Once, the “bloke” had even said, “I wouldn’t have gotten you if I was myself”. He knew that he had to do something, and I realized that love usually finds the person that seems they have it all together and searches for their inner weakness. His weakness was evident. He had never been loved so immensely and he had always wanted a challenge.The nature of the relationship had gone sour. There was an attempt to salvage the friendship, but that relationship was also bonded with Love’s glue. There was no way to save it. It was gone.
From time to time, we speak. We usually wind up keeping it short and cordial. If we ever have an in-depth conversation, I know that it is only for him. I usually hang up feeling empty and worse than I had felt on the day I realized that I could never have a fairytale life. Each conversation was a cruel reminder by Love that there was no such thing as “love and happiness”. I would wait to hear him say something that would allow me to respond, and tell him how much I had still loved him, and how much I needed him. No matter what he said, it was never exactly what I wanted to hear. He often made reference to knowing exactly what I needed to hear, but not feeling as if he should have to prove his love to me anymore. I couldn’t settle for that. I couldn’t settle for the lines that engraved the frown that was once a smile. I couldn’t settle for the glassy glare that shone through whenever someone would mention how happy they were. I couldn’t settle for Love.
Cold, dark, and hurt, scarred by Love’s many lashes, I wait. I know it will return, knowing that I am a survivor, and see me as its challenge. I know Love won’t rest until I am miserable, but I have devised a strategy. Love will come again, this I am certain, but this time, I won’t fall. This time, when Love reaches in, I won’t pull away. I will reach out my hand, grasp Love’s hand and let Love lead, but I will be very observant, and I won’t leave too much behind. I will try not to drop my heart all over the place, and leave too much to clean when Love walks out on me and leaves me lonely and breathless. No. This time, I will be weary and pray that the dance we dance will last for the rest of my life with a great person by my side as Love d.j.’s all night long.