More about L*ve

Nich Garza, Staff Writer

There I stood on the edge of something incredible. Perched above a ravine of words, thoughts, and actions entirely my own, I could finally see the end. If not the end, then it might’ve at least been a nice place to rest for a while. Across this ledge filled with fear and anxiety, I saw her, arms wide open, a welcoming embrace for a weary head. Yeah, she’s got issues too. But we mixed well together. I’ve got problems I need someone to fix. She’s got problems, so she fixes other people. We were a match made in purgatory.

Isn’t it funny how before making a horrible mistake, your brain will sound sirens and alarms and you’ll still find a reason to ignore them? I think it’s pretty funny. It has to be. Otherwise, it’s just sad. A moment’s hesitation is all it took to throw everything into jeopardy. Suddenly she’s unsure and so am I. Now I’m collecting my thoughts and translating them into less-than coherent sentences, trying to convince her to stay. I tell her the truth and I tell her lies—anything to keep me where I am right now. I make her blush and I make her cry and then I add her to the list of women I can never talk to again.

Kicked out of another apartment, I make my way back home. It wouldn’t have been anything special between us anyway. Best case scenario, we break up after a month. Maybe we were always just pretending, holding onto the hope that we were anything other than what we really are-but at least we would have been safe. Exchanging I-Love-You’s that meant a little more than nothing. Taking up space next to each other in bed. Offering one another a slight sense of security in a world where nothing stays the same from one day to the next; that ounce of comfort that makes us feel almost human.

Now we’re nothing. We don’t talk anymore. We can’t even be in the same room now because letting our eyes meet would be too painful for both of us. Soon that’ll fade and the only pain we’ll bring each other will be the awkward interactions we go through for the sake of our mutual friends. Things will go back to normal and as we readjust to that lonely feeling we’re all born with, we’ll find new people to lean on. She’ll find someone that looks like me but more handsome. He’ll be sorta like me, but different enough that she can stand him. I was a little uglier than her last guy but a little too much smarter than him, so maybe she’ll look for someone who can do those the other way around. I’ll start looking for someone like her, but a little less like some parts of her and a little more like other parts. We’ll become infatuated with these people and either date them or not. Whatever ends up happening, it won’t last long. Regardless of who’s single and who’s dating, we’ll both still be lonely a month from now. We’ll both still be trying to scratch that itch and when nothing else works out, maybe I’ll get a call from her. That, or she’ll get a text from me. However we meet again, it probably won’t go much better than it did the first time.

Now it’s later. A lot later. At this point, we’ve lost any infatuation we had for each other in the past and we’ve moved on to bigger and better versions of the same old. By now, she’s talking to some guy that looks like a funhouse mirror image of me, but I was always just a funhouse image of her dad anyway. By now, I’m only vaguely recognizable to the me that exists today, but I’m still looking for a woman who reminds me of Her. I use the capitalized distinction to refer to my mother because I’m in the same boat as every other straight dude you’ll meet. Years or decades have passed at this point, but I’m still looking forward, still hoping for that day far in the future when things will finally be okay. Maybe by then, I’ll be healthy enough to love someone fully. Maybe by then, I’ll have met someone equally well-adjusted. Maybe we’ll be able to say “I love you” and mean it. Maybe by then, the sun will have exploded and we’ll be nothing but quarks, atoms and molecules. We’ll meet there once we’re stripped to our bare components, living matter drifting through the cosmos. She’ll be ready for love and me as well, but we’ll have moved past the need for gender or sex or words. I’ll be sand on the beach, dead matter crushed into grain over a millennium. She’ll be the breeze that blows me into the eyes of Earth’s next inhabitants. We’ll have a lot of fun, and someday we’ll be something entirely different. I’ll become a caterpillar munching on the leaves of the tree she’s turned into. She’ll become a star, and I, a planet in her orbit. We’ll play this game for eons, drifting aimlessly toward each other until the heat death of the universe, where we’ll finally be reunited with Everything. I’ll see you all again and you’ll see me too. Everything will be different, and everything will be Everything. But even as oneness consumes the galaxy, I’ll still remember what it felt like to be up on that ledge, trying desperately to convince another person to love me. We’ll all remember that pain, but it won’t matter anymore, because, at long last, we won’t be lonely. We’ll just be.