on falling in love
caption: when you’re dating another writer and you’re absolutely smitten. heart. body. and mind.
i think this is what i missed about being in love. and i forgot, because losing it was what hurt the most. i didn’t want to remember it anymore after i lost it, and so with every love that followed, i would steel my heart against its permanency. it killed me to lose it and yet it was why i stayed, continually reeling myself in if only for the best of intentions. the belief that if i stayed long enough i could fill the empty pieces inside of me. years have passed. i’ve grown enough to fill my own spaces and those in the hearts of others. this isn’t a story about that, though. this is the beginning of a story about the little things. which are really the big things, though.
it’s a simple, less-regarded byproduct of grand gestures but it’s essential to the mortar of it all, the ‘home’ part, the building of a life together. it’s in the slow, systematic moments of coming home after a long day at work. dropping bags. opening the door to see a face that’s missed you, hands that want to take care of you, arms that have been waiting to embrace and a beating heart that longs to be heard beneath a dirty t-shirt and a mound of hair. oh god. that was it. and it isn’t like when he did it he was sure i was the one. it was never about that, it never is! he took it back after he said it. we fell out of love so fast, as soon as living together made it impossible to keep lying. nearly immediately. our friendship faded too, for a time. but i still remember those weeks. they didn’t make sense, they were chaotic, they were stressful, they began with fights and miscommunications and ended in love, somehow, because if we didn’t know how to do anything else we knew that much. and it was enough.
i’ve grown enough to fill my own spaces and those in the hearts of others. i’ve grown enough to know that love is not enough. it never is. and yet. sometimes it is just enough to stay, reeling yourself in long enough to fill some empty space. maybe not yours. or theirs. but perhaps the space on a bed that’s otherwise cold or a room whose air is otherwise stale or a home that is otherwise just a simple structure, holding people, supporting them, and carrying them through the insignificant days and years.
yes. this is what i missed most about being in love, and its what i steeled my heart against in the belief that i could never have it again without losing myself. giving myself up for the sake of stability, of building a home, of building an impermanent life and pouring myself out to hold bricks together that would ultimately, always, end up dusty and forgotten, perhaps even demolished for the value of their space, one day. but what i didn’t know then is that what i missed is not a physical presence. it is not solely in the hands which want to nurture, arms which long to embrace, or in the flicker of your lover’s eyes as their heart leaps, ecstatically, over and around the line between desire and careful admiration. instead it is placeless, timeless. it happens in the silences, especially when they are brief. split seconds. it’s an invisible current running between you and the person whose heart knew your heart long before you met and it ignites every time you’re together. it is volatile. you are volatile. it stays alive over mountains, oceans, vast stretches of empty space, and it permeates, touching those around you, undeniably, visceral. it doesn’t need a passport. it doesn’t need to be buried to remain clear. it transcends languages, it is voiceless. nothing and no one else can drown it out.
this is what people love for, to find just an ounce, a taste, of this. it’s why they pour themselves out. it’s why they stay. it hurts, i know, but keep loving until you find it. it’s closer than you think. it’s in the space. the little things. the little things which are, really, the big things after all.