What it Might Be

“But why do you say this is just an infatuation? What is the meaning of love to you?” asked the guy who had known me for four weeks before declaring his desire to spend the rest of his life with me, over a Facebook chat.

That was a few weeks ago. I haven’t responded, and I’m sincerely hoping he’s lost interest. He hasn’t been making inappropriate and embarrassing comments on my pictures, or liking everything on my wall the way he did in the beginning, so that looks promising. This isn’t the reason I haven’t responded, though, to ice him out until he goes away. In my less mature days, that’s something I would do. No. I haven’t responded because I don’t know the answer yet.

I don’t know what love is. I remember writing a poem about this a few years ago, when my AP Lit teacher had us write love poems as a Valentine’s Day assignment. He’d wanted them to be “PG-13 rated…maybe even R-rated” but mine had been about not understanding love in the first place, and being slightly afraid of it. It had actually turned out to be a decent poem, despite its lack of requested pornography, and I considered sending it to this new guy. The only problem is that the poem was also half about someone, making use of the word “You”, and I did not want this guy to get the wrong ideas. Unlike You, I am not afraid of loving this guy, because I don’t think of love at all as a possibility.

It’s just, despite my lack of understanding, I strongly feel that love should have a great deal to do with Knowing someone. Not in the deluded way that some lovers have, where they claim to know ‘everything about’ the other person, because I’m aware that it is impossible. But I think there’s an Enough to know about someone. I think that love has to accompany knowing someone through their annoyances and some of their darkness, and still wanting to be around them, and being comfortable letting them into some of your own darkness as well. And maybe, as they touch some of your darkness, feeling that it lightens a bit.
Do you know what a big deal it has to be to allow someone into the darkest, most shameful areas of your mind and body? At least for myself. There’s a reason people keep to themselves, and keep their problems hidden from others. Sometimes I’m not sure what that reason is, but I still know it’s there. I think that love should dissolve that reason.

Comfort. Eden. I don’t know. In my romanticized mind, I think that Adam and Eve must have been naked in ways beyond not wearing clothes. Someday I hope to find my own paradise. I don’t expect to be happy all the time, or to live without problems or strife, because that’s impossible. I just hope to find someone from whom I don’t have to hide all of the problems and strife I encounter. I think it would be nice to live with the ability to have all of my worries floating around me when I wanted them to be. I think it would lessen their impact. And to be with someone whose worries I could see as well. That’d be wonderful. I wouldn’t have to guess at anything, and neither would they. We could just Know, and be okay. I think that could be a kind of paradise.

Not that it will be easy to find paradise. Although I know where it won’t be. It won’t be with a guy who rarely heard what I said, but merely looked at me and did the speaking instead. It won’t be in a place where I had to hide the majority of my ideas, because I knew that they either would not be understood, or would be badly received. With him, I would turn into a shell, one that would eventually crack as my inside festered. It wouldn’t be fair to me, and it wouldn’t be fair to him, although his deaf persistence has honestly caused me to care less about that part.

I wonder where my paradise is, if it is.
I wonder if I should send this to him.

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