OK, not like-like, you know, in the playground sense of the word, because I’d like to think I’ve outgrown that. It’s something similar, though. Just not exactly the same.
Gone are the days of the jitters, the shakes, the butterflies, the agony. In their place there is now a different, more tempered kind of longing. I can literally feel the way I’m keeping myself from falling out-and-out in love with her, how these airbrushed, half-dreamt images and ideas we always manage to concoct about the other person are not as idyllic, not as perfectly warm as they used to be. If I were to somehow admit to myself that yes, this woman is the most gorgeous creature you’ve ever seen, and she in all probability is a better person than you are (mis)leading yourself to believe, the dam would burst and we’d be headed for love letter country. In my case, that’s a pretty unwholesomely sappy place to be, particularly if you don’t happen to be in love with me. So this cathectic temperance can probably be described as a needed safety net, to guard myself and others against really, really embarrassing situations (we’re talking Poetry here. Yes, with a capital P. Draw your own conclusions).
But then, out of left field and moving at a brisk trot towards the diamond comes another thought, one that doesn’t exactly rate highly on the whole “rationality” meter but more than makes up for it by ding-ding-dinging the bell on top of the “intensity” meter, winning a large stuffed animal and eating it in 4 seconds flat. Broken down into its simplest form, it boils down to this: I know this is the woman I’m going to be with for the rest of my life. I just know it. There’s no wishful thinking involved (because the desire as such hasn’t gotten to a level where I’d even consider spending the rest of my life with her a positive option), just a kind of half-remembered, vaguely familiar feeling that flares up in me when I picture her face. I haven’t even decided whether I’m in love with her (though my repression of desire kinda points to an imminent “yes” answer in that category, Bob), and yet here comes this one thought, earnestly throwing itself into the headquarters of Common Sense & Logic Inc., pulling down its pants, and shitting all over the floor.
It might sound creepy to you. It sounds creepy to me, when I think of it from a certain perspective. It feels kind of creepy too, like I don’t know whether I’m being afforded some crazy mystical insight or whether I’m just imagining things (or, heaven forfend, falling prey to Wishful Thinking v2.0, the kind that sneaks through all those firewalls o’ repression). All I know is it’s kinda funny. I’m not taking it too seriously, but the feeling is just strong enough that I’ve given it second and third and fourth thoughts. Am I in love? Haven’t a clue. All I have is a weird feeling in my gut and a growing collection of cheesy-but-endearingly-earnest poetry in my head.
Then there is, of course, always the chance that this whole “love” thing’s happening just the way it always has, only now I’ve finally learned that you have to just ease back at first, kinda let things happen, not push it too hard, not build up major expectations, so on and so forth. Be cool, excellent and absent, as per the Tao of Steve. Relax and just let things happen. Yeah, that’s probably what’s going on. I’m using my years of experience with failure and loss
pale like leaves from the lotus
What the fuck?
Oh dear. Here we go.
[hides head in hands, waits for dam to burst]