What do I really know about love?
Not much, apparently.
OK maybe not apparently… Evidently.
OK, OK, maybe not evidently… Definitely.
But I think I know one thing;
Falling in love is in many ways, similar to dying.
Most of the time, you don’t know when it will happen, it just does. In the time before you fall in love or start to die, you build up sturdy defences, you look out for yourself. You are careful about what goes into you, who has access to you. You set yourself up so that nothing can hurt you. But then one person, a human being born of woman and no different from any other human being who ever escaped the clutches of a womb, wanders into your life. Like a pathogen or a virus, they come to you seemingly inadvertently; carried on the wings of chance and the apparent chaos of the world. You become vulnerable. You want to give them a piece of you. They may or may not be asking for it, but you want to give them anyway just because, as Neil Gaiman would say, they did some seemingly inconsequential thing one day, like smile at you or hug you or laugh with you. And it doesn’t matter whether they accept these shards of you or not, it drains you to even be in this place where you can give them so much of yourself because you have to break these pieces of you first. You have to break down your defenses. That’s the beginning of the end. You’ve been diagnosed with love and from that moment on your life isn’t your own any more. it’s a slow, painful process, you see all the signs and you try to get help, to seek treatment. You take that drug, you delete that text. But there is nothing you can do. You’re drowning in inevitability. You’re falling in love.
Falling in love is just like dying.
Sometimes, its a sudden, inexplicable madness that seizes you when you least expect it, and it feels like you were stabbed in your sleep or shoved off a cliff you didn’t even know was there. One minute you’re walking on solid ground, free of heart burdens, and the next, you’re in free fall, tumbling through pink and blue and red love clouds and wondering what will happen when you run of out sky to fall through. Wondering if the person that pushed you off will be there to catch you. And so you ask. And then they say something like “I just don’t feel that way about you” or “let’s just be friends” and you learn that words are as sharp as any sword that has ever been forged by the hands of any man. Those simple words carve into your soul and leave you bleeding, lost in the darkness, where simple words are serrated swords cutting away patiently at everything that is you, working their way slowly towards your heart. It is a painful death. Not an abstract, intangible pain limited to the body or the mind. It’s a soul-wound, an essence-hurt. And you lay on the floor, in those brief, painful moments, thinking “Fuck you Cupid, you treacherous, murderous fuck”, bleeding all sorts of emotions until you can bleed no more.
Falling in love is really not very different from dying.
Because it opens your chest and it breaks your rib-cage and it rips a pathway straight to your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and really fuck shit all up. Leave your innards in a state of clusterfuckery. And it hurts when they do that. So you start to wear your pain like armour. You polish it with indifference and hold it all together with humour and sarcasm and a certain type of world-weariness that is wisdom to fools. But the thing with armour is that it is always on display. Everyone can see it and they recognize it for what it is and that tells them there is something you want to protect because you’ve been hurt before. It reveals the weaknesses and the vital organs. And for a while, you don’t mind. There is a perversely piquant albeit potentially pernicious pleasure promoted by publicly parading your pain. People notice it. You’re the ‘hurt’ and ‘damaged’ person. You’ve ‘experienced’ life. You like the attention. So you get used to it. You even start to enjoy it. But it eats at you like slow-burn acid at your soul and that hurts even more because you’re doing it to yourself. Because somewhere, somehow, some part of you wants to be able to die again. To feel the vulnerability that it brings. To experience the exhilaration of falling through those clouds. To let yourself bleed emotions for someone that wants to bleed for you too.
Falling in love is pretty much the same as dying.
Because just like dying, when you’ve fallen and bled and asked the hard questions and felt the hurt and finally closed your eyes to resign yourself to your fate, you just might wake up to a blinding light and angel on the other side. You see, you have to die to go to heaven. Hell too. We all know that. We take the chance because we have to. It is as much our nature to die as much as it is to love. We want that heaven, where our angel is our murderer and we are willing victims. Its the pain of love and the fear of rejection hell that gets at us. The best and worst part of love, the most soul-searing, heart-distressing, fear-inducing part of falling in love is that with love, unlike with dying, you can always leave your hell of unrequited love. You just have to choose to take the chance to fall again, take the risk to die again. Its hard. Its fucked up. Its scary. Its so fucking frustrating and desperately difficult. But C’est la vie, ma Cherie. it is what it is and that’s all it will ever be. The downsides of Love are a tender kind of ‘fuckerie’.
I may not know much about love but I think I know this.
Falling in love is in many ways, similar to dying.
And I have died a thousand deaths.
But I will gladly die a thousand more until I find her.
Maybe then, finally, I will know more than this one thing about the enigmatic, excruciating, exultant emotion and eventually experience the essence of the esoterically exquisite fuckerie that is being in love.