0507 – what does love mean to you?

“Can I be totally honest with you?”

“Sure.”

“Huh. It’s funny– I didn’t actually rehearse what I was going to tell you. I have some short-hand thoughts in my mind, but blurting those out would be silly–”

“Hm? Silly why?”

“Because it’s not even what I actually think. The truth is something more…nuanced than what I am tempted to say, and if I say it – “it” being a really shitty shorthand that’s totally misleading and insufficient – then I’d be doing the exact opposite of what it is that I want to do.”

“Wait. Uh… so what is it that you want to do?”

“I want to… God, this is tough.”

“Seems like it!”

“Okay, okay, I got it. I should start with questions. What does love mean to you?”

“HAHAHA. What?!”

“Okay, that was a bit…”

“Out of the blue?”

“Yeah, I know… Was it, though? I mean, we’ve known each other for like, 2 years now.”

“Wow, yeah.”

“See! And I don’t even know what love means to you!”

“Hahahaha. You ask the strangest things…”

“There’s a reason, though. You see, I used to just blurt things at people. And then they’d misunderstand me, because their interpretation of what I said was entirely different from what I meant.”

“That kinda sucks.”

“Yeah. So for me to actually communicate what I want to communicate, I need to understand your context better. I need to know what you think, and how you think, and then I can explain myself to you in a way that makes sense to you.”

“Sounds like a lot of work.”

“Yeah, but isn’t it the most important thing, though? We all talk to people every day without ever knowing whether they actually hear what we mean. People get married and spend decades of their lives together thinking, ‘My husband never listens to me’. I mean, how tragic is that?”

“Very tragic.”

“Yeah. So, I don’t wanna do that. I don’t wanna be that way, not with anybody. Which is why I ask these strange questions.”

“Aww…”

“I know right, I’m a total charmer. But seriously though. What does love mean to you.”

“Well… what kind of love are we talking about?”

“You tell me. I wanna know what comes to your mind. What kind of love do you think we’re talking about?”

“Uh… I’m assuming you mean romantic love? Nobody really asks about family, or friendship, though I think those things are equally important if not more so. And love for a craft, or movies, or architecture…”

“Mmhm…”

“So, romantic love?”

“I wanna hear it all. Architecture too.”

“Well, I love how good art makes me feel. I rarely cry, but once in a while a good movie makes me cry. I… enjoy that.”

“Why?”

“Wow, I don’t know. It just feels good, I guess. Like a good shower.”

“You like showers?”

“Uh, who doesn’t? Don’t you?”

“Yeah, I do. I guess everybody loves showers.”

“It’s one of the few times where you can be absolutely, blissfully alone. Might just be my favorite 10-20 minutes every day. I would shower several times a day if I could. I think we should have hot showers at work, and we should shower in the middle of the work day. It’ll be glorious.”

“Isn’t it interesting, though… what’s the difference between being blissfully alone and being painfully alone?”

“Jeez, you’re just full of big questions!”

“Yeah. I… that’s just who I am, really. Mr. Big Questions. Always have been, probably always will be. I can stop if you want me to stop, though. Do you have work to do or something?”

“No, I got a minute. What was the question again? You have so many.”

“What does love mean to you, and what’s the difference between being blissfully alone and painfully alone.”

“Oh, I know how to answer the second one. Blissfully alone is when you’re free from other people’s bullshit– away from demands and obligations and errands and all that shit. Like, oh my god, seriously…”

“Hahahaha.”

“I think that’s the main thing I didn’t expect about adulthood. All the obligations and responsibilities. Bills, bills, bills. And weddings to attend. And parents getting old. I mean, I sorta anticipated that stuff, but I didn’t realize how hard it would hit.”

“Yeah, that’s the reason why adults are so boring. When I was a kid, I used to think, why aren’t adults more exciting? They have money! Can’t they do more fun stuff? Why don’t they have cooler haircuts? And then I realized. Bills, motherfucker. Bills. Have you met my mortgage?”

“Hahaha! I can totally imagine you as a kid. You must have been so annoying.”

“That… was a painfully astute observation.”

“Heh, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, it’s what I like about you. It’s why I bother to talk to you, anyway.”

“Aww, thanks.”

“In a way, adults are morbidly exciting. It’s just that all the excitement is on the inside. Should I kill myself today? Or should I drink whiskey and drunk-dial my ex? So many possibilities!”

“That got dark real quick.”

“It’s true, man. I think the real dark thing about life isn’t the dark stuff, but that we whitewash it away. I was on reddit and there was a post about horrifying sporting accidents– there was one in the 80s or 90s– ice hockey accident, one guy’s blades slit another guy’s throat, and there was blood gushing all over the ice–”

“Jesus fucking christ–”

“Yeah, he was okay in the end though, and he was really lucky because his medic was an ex-combat medic who served in Vietnam, and the fella ran over instantly and saved him by PINCHING HIS GODDAM JUGULAR VEIN WITH HIS FINGERS–”

“What the fuck. What the fuck. What the-”

“Anyway, that’s not the dark part. The dark part is… when the announcers saw what happened, they freaked out and cut to an ad. So when you watch the video, there’s a Buick ad playing while a person is possibly dying on the rink, with tens of thousands of people watching.”

“That’s messed up.”

“That’s life, man. That’s the dark part. The smiles and the civility. Barbarians must be traumatized by civilization. We live and mate in captivity, we keep our animals in boxes and breed them to eat them… it’s dystopian as fuck when you think about it.”

“Damn.”

“Anyway, so you explained the blissfully alone bit, what about the painfully alone bit?”

“Uh… I’ll have to think about that one and get back to you. Also I got some work to finish up. We should totally chat about this later, though. Coffee?”

“Sure.”

“Please no more stories about blades and throats and the dystopian nature of reality, though.”

“Aw man, but that’s my favorite part!”

“Of course it would be. Laters!”

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