First things first. And first, this: you just want to be. Be normal. Be happy. Be healthy. Be–Oh god. Do I even say it? Do I dare put it out there?–loved. *gulp*
Love; the word you find the easiest and the most difficult to say. You say it the least cautiously to the people you love the least. You say it without thought about movies and books and songs and commercials.
You just love chocolate!
You just love those shoes, ohemgee!
You just loooove getting stuck behind a slowly moving tractor on a back road. *eyeroll*
You hide it in love ya!s and XOs and <3s to make it easier to sneak past the cautious boundaries of your own heart. Clothing it in casual sounding pleasantries and friendly little waves. You bleed your wishy-washy heart in emojis. You make it everything, but make it look like absolutely nothing. You're love is a covert operation to sneak past your own good senses. It's a private detective to your emotions.
Love? You don't love them!
You luv them.
You heart them.
You ❤ them.
Lov(E) with out E. That's your protection. Your armor against Everyone and Everything. Against Emptiness. Your refusal to waste Energy on Emotions. Your Expression of Empathy without showing your Eagerness. Your secret way of Emoting without Ever Exposing your hEart.
Oh, but one day… One day you will be tired. And giddy. Maybe a little drunk or weedy. Maybe you’re high on life and just heard the best song ever. Maybe you had a really good day or a really good sandwich or really good sex. Maybe you will have just realized that you look really fucking good in hats. But, you will say it.
You will say, I LOVE YOU. And you will forget to not mean it. You will forget to hide it. You will forget to not let the warmness your mouth link up the deep redness of your heart with the raw calico of your mind, and you will mean it with every breath in your lungs, every beat of your lashes, every sweat bead forming on the small of your back.
You will mean it. And the oxygen in your lungs will turn into an army of angry restless soldiers and the blood vessels that run down the pinky side of your hands will throb in this painful, frustrating way that nobody but you seems to ever experience. In a way that makes you scared by just how much you don't want to be alone anymore.
You will mean it. And the past will meet the present like future in-laws at an engagement party. Awkward. Forced. Unfamiliar in the most familiar setting. Turning the dial to "on" and the cycle to "rinse and spin". Turning the switch to "signal"
You will mean it. And you will wish to God you didn't. You will try to swim away from it but the current will fight you. And when you start to escape, a dangerously powerful undertow will grab you around the back of the knees and pull you down under until you are swimming in love. Sinking in love. Drowning and suffocating and choking to death on love.
Drunk on love.
Hung over from love.
Fucked up with love.
You will think to yourself: this is why. THIS is why you don't love. THIS is why you Do
But, it will be too late. You'll find that you can't save yourself. Once an I LOVE YOUer always an I LOVE YOUer. An I LOVE YOUer for life. So you fashion your life into a public service announcement on the dangers of uncovered love. An exposé on the pyramid scheme that is love. You will preach to anyone who will listen about the trap that is love. And you will write books and create seminars and run an institutional rehabilitation center for addicts of love. And you will strive with all your might to help others break the bonds of love and to free others from the bondages of their own hearts.
And finally, one day, when you are old and tired and plentifully bitter. When you are isolated and this anger inside you has cooled down to an even and steady burning inside your chest. When love starts to seem no different than hate or hunger and sickness or cold. When the words I LOVE YOU stop evoking pictures of any particular persons in your mind, then you will truly find a long and lasting bitterness. Then, and only then, will you know for sure that you are free of love. Forever. And that nothing will ever be able to jeopardize your self-control again.