Monday, March 08, 2004


There was a girl in high school--let's call her "S."--who I was pretty close with, and she would always say "I love you." To friends. To family. Even casually, to acquaintances. S.'s "I love you" were three words that were neither very selective nor prejudiced. They went where they were told...and in this case, that was everywhere.

I remember once saying to her, how powerful those three words are and if she ever thought about that potency (it's frequency in her vocabulary was almost a joke in our circle of friends). I also asked her if she thought about the friends on the receiving end of her declaration of affection. If she had considered what they thought about it. Did they hear her "I love you" as a "see ya' later," or "you're the best?"
She said that she had not thought about it. After all, they were words that were easy to say, she argued. Why not say just them?
Because, I said back, if we are constantly conjuring love, then perhaps, it will become trite and dull. Perhaps, the more we think we feel it, the harder it will be to actually feel.
She naively responded, well, look, I need to keep in practice.

Its years later. To me, "love" is still a complex and holy topic. It's a heavy something weighed in tons. It's a bully of a word that intimidates, rather than frightens. It's near enough that I can see it if I squint but far enough that I may never catch up to it if I decided to chase.

Love is something I have yet to truly experience. I mean, I love my family and I love the people who are close to me but something tells me that love, in the context of true love, of a significant other, is an incomparable and invaluable experience. Yes, that reeks of cliche but, truly, this emotion, this sentiment, inspires almost everything we do. As artists (eye-roll if you must), we are always inspired by love.
The thing that frustrates me is that most, including myself, are busy seeking it out and we place so much of an intense importance on it...that perhaps we are preventing ourselves from truly finding it. Our expectations are so high. Can we ever meet them?

But years later, I think that my protectiveness of the L word has backfired on me. I don't know. Maybe if I had used it more, it would have been easily accessible. Maybe I wouldn't feel as if this single city was a DMV, of sorts. Way too complicated for no reason.

Oh, and S.? Well, she's married and has two kids.


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