Canon Love (Photo credit: Phalaenopsis Aphrodite)
Theme Song: “You or Your Memory” The Mountain Goats
Projects: Finishing up a chapter, sorting out email, the usual
So, today, I was sitting there, revising a chapter and proofreading it for errors, and I started to think about a phrase my friend used to tell me whenever I’d talk about how I thought love was a struggle – and this was back in 2003. “Love is easy,” she would say. I’d scoff at the thought. I mean, love is never easy, right? She gave me an assignment. She asked me to write a story where love WAS easy. So I did. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Max sat down at the first table he found empty at Moxies. He took his journal out of his knapsack and sat it in front of him, jut next to his Soy Latte. His well-ringed hand opened the notebook to the first empty page on which he wrote “L’amore est jamais facille.” Then, he placed his left hand on the back of his neck and began to scribble as many French phrases as he could put together in the few minutes he waited for Nicole to show up. “Je voudrais faire l’amour avec elle dans un lit, sur le table…” He wrote frantically, his hand pushing his black hair out of his face, grasping the fine tendrils, scratching at a zit on the side of his face.
“Hey stranger,” a green-haired girl plopped down in front of him, and she sat her beer down while at the same time her butt hit the chair.
“Hey,” Max said looking up, “Did you get it done?”
“Yeah,” She paused then pulled up the sleeve on her shirt to reveal gauze and tape. “It’s done.”
“Cool,” Max nodded. “Shawna dumped me again today.”
“Really, Why’d she do it this time?”
“I don’t know,” Max brought his coffee to his lips, “I’m getting sick of her shit.”
Nicole smiled and laughed, “Well you know, there are other girls out there.”
“I guess so,” Max snickered then scribbled a phrase in his notebook, “C’est les autres filles pour moi.”
The story goes on, of course, and Max realizes he’s in love with Nicole, his best friend. I’m not posting the whole thing because, frankly, it needs revision (it’s still in rough draft form), and that’s not the point. I think it’s kind of funny that when I was asked by my friend to write a story about love being easy, I wrote a story about a guy who was in a complicated relationship that was anything but easy and realizing that he was in love with his best friend.
It’s funny, because I’m in love with one of my best friends, and it’s super-easy. For years, I believed love was work, love was about sacrifice, love was about giving up who you were for who someone wanted you to be. Those believes are lame Hollywood-ized versions of love. Love is easy. You’re always you. I didn’t know my boyfriend at the time I wrote the story, but the story is kind of simple. Two people have a great time together, two people wind up falling in love.
Love is like a puzzle piece when it fits – it fits. The two pieces complement each other, go together well. There isn’t thought about “work” or “sacrifice” or “giving up.” You are who you are, there is no sacrifice, and it’s certainly not ‘work.’
When it doesn’t fit, it’s like trying to take a hammer to two puzzle pieces that aren’t shaped anything like each other and force them together. It’s a struggle. It’s a tug-of-war. It can be hell. Parts of the pieces get hammered off and lost.
I wound up looking at pictures of a puzzle that was forced together and could see, instantly, that the pieces did not fit at all. It’s funny, because even without all the other problems that went into that relationship, it would never have worked. Partly because the pieces weren’t even from the same puzzle. There were so many differences, it’s amazing we could talk at all. Partly because we were both giving up so much of who we were to try to “work” at the relationship, that it was only a matter of time before things would fall apart.
For those who are looking for love, remember that when it works, it really works. When it doesn’t life can be a strange struggle. You should never have to change so much for someone else that you don’t know who the person in the mirror is anymore. You shouldn’t have a tally of who did what. Love isn’t a credit card. You shouldn’t feel like you’re racking up debt or that the other person owes you.
Nope, love is easy. It’s easy to give, it’s easy to receive. And if we’re lucky, we hold onto it.