Not many of us can survive the impact of not being loved the way we want to be loved. When someone loves us the way they want to, we find fault in it. However sincere they may be, their love comes undone. At times, it feels worse than not being loved at all. It is as though something bad has already happened between us. But it has taken a coffee break. It will be here soon. Hence, we must prepare for the worst. Otherwise, the strings that are meant to bind us may turn into the barbed wire from which we cannot escape – without slicing a vein.
Everyone has a story of defeat to share about the politics of love. How reality failed to live up to the hype of expectations. When intent and impact had a pillow fight, and lovers became strangers. We feel sorry for them. We shake our heads in disapproval over their nearsightedness in handling the situation. When it happens to us, we deal with it the same way.
If it is pointed out that we are being obtuse – we claim that nobody gets it.
Clarity arrives when we pick ourselves from the ground; dusting our elbows before taking that first step to internal system reboot. Pride surges, like electricity, through us. People see it in our eyes. They notice the changes that we do not. Maybe, we walk a little differently. Or we seem more concerned about how we dress, and what we eat. But they have seen this story-line play itself out in a crappy movie before. So, they have no interest in following it anymore.
That does not stop us from continuing the narrative, though. And we just keep at it. Again and again and again. Like a tiny motor-operated welder. Or an 80s progressive rock drummer during the live version of the only song he was allowed to compose.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
A Porcupine Tree drum solo.
We cannot stop because of the adrenaline rush. The drunken stupor of making improvements that have measurable outcomes. And the anger. Our worst-kept secret that stems from love going rogue. We keep most of it to ourselves because it loses purpose once it is out there. Anxiety and regret grow over it, like parasitic fungi. It resembles wildflowers, and it tries to trick us into picking them.
Then, we may pass it on to another host.
Despite the risks, we hold on to the anger because of the rewards. It gives us the courage to quit moping around; to start being the person we thought ourselves to be. Unless we construct a fortress to contain this anger, we may be defeated by it.
One fine day, kicking back on the couch – we think about whatever had led us to this moment. We heave a sigh of relief in recognition of how much worse it could have been. Even back when we were falling apart, we could have been unsalvageable.
Oddly, or perhaps not so, we turn into a ticking time bomb. Because it occurs to us that any minute, everything can be snatched away. And we will have to restart the fight; to pull apart the tentacles that suck the happiness out of our lives. To rekindle the fire. Fueled by hope, persistence and the white-hot rage.
If life goes according to plan, there will be love. Not that kind that you imagined it to be. After all, you have watched crappy movies too. Who has not?
This sort of love appears by the side of a Spoonbill taking flight from a crystalline womb in the wild blue yonder. It glides with an Ibis as a stiff burst of wind bench-presses the air beneath its wings. I could swear that last November I saw it ostentatiously flirt with a Pelican, as it took one last gulp of some river fish.
Of course, this is only because I like birds. You may like something else.
It may even be irresponsible, illogical or self-destructive, but who am I to judge?
Love is weird. Considering that we are the planet’s weirdest occupants, why would we want it any other way?
of a milky womb –