So I suppose you need to know what I think love is, don’t you? You need to know what it is that I feel when I say the words, mean the words, own the words, live the words. It is a simple thing, really, platonic or romantic is the same in essence. Your happiness is more important than my own. This sounds a bit self-deprecating, I will admit, so let me expound a bit.
I love happiness. It may be a weird thing for a chronically depressed, and sometimes furious, man to say, but I love the joy that people feel. I love when my son tells me with this look of pride that he got another A+ on a math test, or when my friends tell me of the triumphs of their days, weeks, and lives. I don’t feed off of the emotion like some psychic vampire who needs your feelings for my sustenance. I don’t live vicariously through your happiness because I do not have my own. No, I just want you to be happy.
I want ALL of you to be happy. I know that is not always feasible, of course, which makes your triumphs over the Darkness even sweeter than they would have been. I am a perennial cheerleader who you will hear no matter how full the stands are. I will tell you I love you just because I do. I will always be the one that apologizes when I have done atrociously stupid things to you to dim that happiness.
Have a good baseline now? Good.
Fourth Grade was a weird year for me. She loved purple and had a smile I can still remember. Mind you, she was thirty years older than I was and married, and you know, not looking romantically at nine-year-olds. She always had the warmest smile, even after I broke her heart with Josh, John, and Mike that afternoon. Mom said I couldn’t get her the Amethyst earrings I wanted to give her for Christmas because maybe a couple of grand was a bit much or your teacher.
Hurricanes have had less damaging effects than she did. She taught me everything and nothing in single kisses that I can’t wipe away no matter how much I make my lips bleed years after the fact. She was like drinking sorrow from a cup lined with sweetness. We loved one another, but all these years later, I realized that we never really liked one another. We didn’t talk, we didn’t laugh, we snorted coke and fucked a lot. Capricious youth compressed into adult tragedy.
You know that feeling when you get wrapped up in a good book, and you are sad when you have to put it down? She was like that. Windswept plains of far-flung destinations. Hair like this molten purple waterfall that cascaded over her. She had the most infectious laugh. I think, contrarily to before, we never loved one another but we really, really, liked one another. I broke her with the misplacement of a single comma, and she never forgave me for it. She was right not to.
Now, as much as a few of you are reading this to see yourself perhaps, I can’t do that to you, I will not sully it with the miserable attempts I am making at working out feelings that are decades old. You are not tools to be used, but treasured memories that I hold in my heart in places that I can never let go of. Yes, there is glass in some of those places, but I was the one who broke things, never you, not once was it you.
Maybe I should stop this now…
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