an emptying of my brain
not jump his bones - no… i heard someone say that once and it made me think of graveyards and people who are sexually attracted to dead people and perform weird acts on corpses to indulge their freaky fetishes. there is something so inhuman about jumping on a pile of bones, something both impersonal and fatalistic. it’s lacking in heart, and it does no justice to the soul of the instinct. i don’t pretend to know all about everything, especially things like instinct and desire, but i will say that if there wasn’t something whole and filling in it, like campbells, like waking up in warm socks on a rainy night, i doubt anyone would bother falling in love. it tangles you, it complicates your life. it lies awake with you at night, stares with you at ceilings and carries you over gusts of sleep. i read somewhere that people in love dream the vividest dreams — this is scientifically proven. i don’t think i’ve ever been in love but my dreams are vivid as it is. i don’t think we would jump into flaming cities in our selves and piles of rubble, screw with our serenity like superman just to jump on bones.
when you’re young you sing songs with the radio and listen to delilah’s romantic dedications through the static. with your forehead pressed up to the car window, streetlights whizzing and smearing by, you hear things like
"I just want to dedicate this song to boveric, the love of my life."
"and how long have you and boveric known each other?"
"twelve hours. and they’ve been the best twelve hours, and baby i would move mountains for you, and-"
(cue intro to mariah carey’s “you’ll always be my baby.)
and you giggle a little bit because twelve hours is 24 half hours which means that you could watch 24 episodes of rugrats in the span of their entire relationship. but something leaves an imprint, because you wonder for the first time not where your life is leading to, but who. that screws with your serenity. it makes you expectant, and these things have such little staying power when they do start happening — a fragile connection with another human being, the flashes of seeing things pass through them from your vantage point — like a glass bottom boat.
i worry that we talk about things too much and start to trivialize them. what is love? maybe someone tried to explain it to you once and they did the best they could, drawing on memories of times they felt loved, and trying to simplify it for your childlike ears. the sounds hit your eardrums like kaBOOM and became a part of you. but all they were, all they could ever be, are words, hollow structural stones inadequately suited to explain such an elusive and possibly incomprehensible thing. we think we know feelings, these abstract concepts like connection and heartache. but really all we know are words, and sometimes i worry that words aren’t enough. if jumping bones are all there is, and if all we have of love are ghost like shreds of pseudo understanding born into our collective unconscious by pure ritual.
but that can’t be all there is right? because there are millions of intelligent people on our planet and in our planet’s history, and millions of intelligent people have been in love. it can’t be like landing on the moon in your space suit, looking around and thinking is that all there is? cratered and empty and made out of rocks.
no. something about it exhilerates, and whether that something is sophisticated human understanding or primitive survival instinct hardly matters at all.
in the sky, almost every star has another star they cling onto and orbit the sky with. often, these binary stars are so close together they appear to the naked eye as one. maybe that’s what we should be like, binary stars. to die in a flash of light, brighter and warmer than we began. but then again, that might be total crap.
i mean, people are unlike stars in that they are singular entities with free will and are not gaseous orbs (hopefully). so when you think about it that way, it’s kind of preposterous to view love as the combination of two souls. your soul should be yours and totally free.
you know what’s weird? the different connotations of the words “heart” and “soul.” because, when you think about the way we use them, what’s really the difference? true, in clinical terms the heart is a four chambered organ and the soul resides… where? in the soul hole? on the bottoms of our feet? i don’t know. but when we say I Sold My Soul To my theatre teacher, we mean we’re turning into a slave or an automaton. and when we say i gave you my heart, we mean we did something that is seen not only as acceptable but celebrated — the highest possible function of the singular person. so what i want to know is what makes giving of your heart different than giving of your soul? they both mean losing a piece of your essential self, only one is Okay, so why?
maybe i’m overthinking this, in fact i’m pretty positive i am, but who’s to say i can’t devote my life to the science of not falling in love? i could spend it as the experimental factor in a world of cupid-struck constants, reading and loading up my netflix queue and doing tai-chi. true i won’t be repopulating the species but population overflow is already a rampant problem, so that’s only a minor con.
no in fact, i could be christopher columbus of solitude — keeping both my heart and soul for myself, out of greed and spite for our nation of lovethirsty gizzards. only in all likelihood, that would suck in practice. we need to share things and i go crazy without someone to listen to me rambling.
i’ve always thought of people in love as the most boring types of people. for one thing, all they talk about is The One, they seem not to think about anything else, and they’re so satiated like puppies on sedatives. happiness is great and all, don’t get me wrong, and i think everyone deserves it — even spandex clad jogging tyrants and premiscuous politicians who look like newts. but i don’t think i could ever accept that kind of dull contentment. i’m a writer, i crave disaster. and when there are none in my immediate path, i seem to create them.
so basically what i’m saying is not that i’m incapable of ever loving, just that i’m really sort of scared of it at a distance, and also that i could potentially fall in love with you. because when i talk into your shirt i stop thinking about all this stuff and i remember to breathe.