In and out of Love

I am in love.

A phrase I long to say. It’s not to say that I don’t feel love. I love my cat. I love my sisters, but I want to be in love. The euphoric feeling that you’re submersed in, drowned by, the inescapable overwhelming feeling of being in love. I could be at the supermarket looking over the produce and sigh, “I am in love,” as if by saying it that it might somehow be true or perhaps in the near future become true. However, it’s not that simple.

I write a lot about love in my stories. Not perfect love, not perfect characters, but definitely the feeling of being in love. In real life, I am critical if romance even exists. I don’t think it does. At least not the versions that play out in books and movies. I always think the love story has to end in death, because that portion of time that you’re drowning in love is the most rapturous. It’s almost suffocating. It’s as painful as it is ecstasy. You become so full you burst. It’s a whirlwind, but that type of energy is short lived. It peters out. It becomes hum-drum. Then you put up with it and tolerate it, based solely on a memory that once you were in love.

I don’t want to stop being in love. A pure love. I don’t want to have to rely on someone or need something from them or them from me. No expectations. Just love. But love burns out. It’s a happy story while it lasts, but I kill the characters before they learn to resent each other. I have to. It’s my basic instinct. I want to protect them from noticing the glaring imperfections in each other. The disappointment.

To die at the height of love must be blissful in a sense. It’s the closest to ‘happily ever after’ you’re going to get. That person lives on in the other’s memory perfect. They never met the disappointment, the resentment, the rejection. Death is beyond anyone’s control.

Without death, love will turn into an anchor. The people will cease to move forward. They will not transform or grow. “But they’ll grow together!” you cry. No, the fact is everyone develops at their own pace and by yoking yourself to another…well, let’s just say no one gets left behind, but no one excels beyond expectations either. They’re held back. They won’t abandon the memory that once they were in love. They won’t take advantage of opportunities that may lead them on an exciting adventure. Good stories usually have some sort of exciting adventure.

Life is long. People will come in and out of your life. For a few moments you will dance together and you will be in love. But like the on dance floor, the music will change, and you will exchange partners and you will dance again. A whole new experience, a different version of the same drowning. Perhaps what we need to know is when to say goodbye and how to do so with compassion and without bitterness. We need the ability to move on and not hold onto things that we have no business hanging on to in the first place, because when there is in there is also out.

But this is all a bunch of nothing from a pessimistic person who wants to be in love.

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