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love is so short, forgetting is so long

November 20, 2011

When I walk away from you, you’re supposed to come after me. That’s how this works. You’re supposed to say something that stops me in my tracks, that moves me. You’re supposed to make me feel the way I felt when I woke up in your boro and smiled at the ceiling and was grateful for being in the same place at the same time even though half of Brooklyn lay between us.

You’re supposed to write, for example, the stars are blue-no. Write, for example, you’d like to sleep for weeks like a-

man at my feet. Send your fingers drumming up and down my legs, kiss the backs of my knees. I will absent-mindedly run my fingers through your hair, pull your head back and smile the way only a variable, not a control, can. “We’re not in love”, I will say to you. And your eyes will dart back and forth in both fear and longing when I mention the word. Because love, as it applies to mathematics, the economy, logic, the numbers on the dial and dashboard, is about figures in a column. It is about learning to fold fitted sheets and making sure mealworms don’t get into the flour. It is about taking out the trash, picking up the mail, making sure we don’t kill each other with peanut oil and pet dander and any other allergens we forget to think of. Because, whatever is here cannot be there. Whatever this is (or was. or wasn’t. or will be. or won’t) cannot possibly be so mundane, so boring, so rote as love.

Another’s. She will be another’s…Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I will catch myself telling the same stories over and over again to different men, men who are not you. It will feel disingenuous. I will get used to this. I was familiar with this feeling before you, I will be after you.

Where am I going to? You’ll get by, you always have before.

It’s true.

*italicized text from Pablo Neruda’s Tonight I Can Write, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, and Man Man’s Van Helsing Boombox

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2011 11:39 pm

    “Because love, as it applies to mathematics, the economy, logic, the numbers on the dial and dashboard, is about figures in a column. It is about learning to fold fitted sheets and making sure mealworms don’t get into the flour. It is about taking out the trash, picking up the mail, making sure we don’t kill each other with peanut oil and pet dander and any other allergens we forget to think of. Because, whatever is here cannot be there. Whatever this is (or was. or wasn’t. or will be. or won’t) cannot possibly be so mundane, so boring, so rote as love.”

    This. This is what love is. “Rote” is maybe not the word I would use, but there is comfort in that word too. That is what is missing here. The refusal to share the “rote” might be what hurts more than the fantastic.

    This week, I keep thinking about the “this happened. something happened to me” comment; the acknowledgment of a moment, however minute and insignificant. This happened; something happened to me, to you, to all of us.

  2. November 21, 2011 12:44 am

    i do love your description of mundane love. also, the science/math part of it, that you dip into. like some kind of experiment that doesn’t ever lead to a theory.

    also: something about your writing (and this post) has so much movement to it, almost feels like pacing to me. doesn’t feel rushed at all, but there’s ordered and emotionally charged movement of things and people…going to think about it.

  3. November 21, 2011 8:08 am

    I love this. Full stop.

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