On Love, In Love

I can’t imagine not being in love.

I first fell in love when I was fiteen/sixteen and it was inevitably un-requited. This Friday, I was interviewed regarding my writing this song and I found myself talking about my first love. As I talked about her, I realised I remembered every detail about her. Her hair, her dimples, her enchanting lisp, the gorgeous shade of pink she’d go if she had to answer a question in school, her braces, and the tremendous strain her valiant blouse buttons underwent to contain what I thought, at that age, were surely the biggest breasts in the entire world.

I was a kid, we were both kids. I’m sure if I saw a picture of her now as she was then, she’d look like… a kid.

She was the first girl I wrote a song about.

Since then, I’ve fallen in love at least another… eight times! Fuck! That seems like a huge number! But bear in mind that I am 47 now and that I was married for 11 years (together for 14) during that list of massive infarctions. Six of those times were over nineteen years ago so the rate of me drowning in someone’s eyes does seem to be slowing of late.

I guess my serial amory is part of who I am: I’m a songwriter who sings mostly about love. I seem to feel things more than the average person, I have higher highs and lower lows. Where others shake off lovers / relationships / pain / love, I can’t seem to. I stay stuck until I work through everything, usually through putting everything into songs and trying to invent a narrative for what is, in reality, the normal chaos of love. Even then, I don’t “move on” like mature adults are meant to: if any of those girls/women turned up on my doorstep this evening, I’d gladly ask them in, hug them and love them as much as I did way back when. Weird, I know.

Out of those eight times, only four have been requited.

Oh, unrequited love! I could fill so many anguished diary pages with the will-it-blend? assault on my heart those loves brought. I could and I have: please make sure your burn those diaries when my body is found, they make Tumblr look sober.

This is how I know I’m in love:

  • She’s the last thing I think about as I’m falling asleep.
  • She’s the first thing I think about when I wake.
  • Every moment she’s not here, there’s a dull ache inside me, like I’ve left something somewhere but can’t remember what and where.
  • If I see someone with the same name as her on the telly or a film or Twitter, my heart leaps.
  • If I miss a call from her, I start panicking and my heart jumps like a skittish frog. Then, when I call her, she’s all chill and I’m yammering like Rainman.
  • When she texts me and I see her name come up on my phone, it’s like the sun breaking through the grey after a rainstorm, nothing is bad any more.
  • When I see her, when I actually see her in the real, actual, atoms-of-her-body-bouncing-light-into-my-eyes way, it hurts because she’s so pretty. I can’t breathe, I can’t think, I want to crush her with hugs and never let her go.
  • When she says she loves me, I feel the universe unfold and flower, galaxies sparkling chrome in her steady gaze. Every blink seems to take a thousand years.
  • When she holds my hand, I am calm. We could be sailing into a black hole or about to be ravaged by rabid dogs, still I am calm. What could hurt us through this love?
  • When she kisses me, it is shocking. I’m blind, all I can feel are her lips on my skin and a wave of sudden heat passing over me, the splash of a firework on a velvet sky. Every when is now, the kiss will be everywhen.

I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to love but I would say that I welcome it into my life. It is the central engine of my life. Actually, I suspect it is for most humans but modern capitalism has made it a sin to say so: we’re programmed to spew the cant that whatever tasks we perform as wage slaves define who we are.

They don’t. Love is what makes you who you are.

Moreover, a loveless human cannot help but be alienated from their work because creation is an act of love. Sever the bond between love and work and you end up with anomie and reality TV: empty, inimical shite.

I am not in a romantic or sexual relationship now and I haven’t been for five years. So, in that sense, I am unloved. But I have love in my life because I am in love. Yes, sometimes that hurts terribly ~ when is wanting what you can’t have ever not painful? Nevertheless, I love love and I would not live without it, no matter how many times I may say that I would.

I know my love will read this and she’ll probably shake her head at my foolishness. In her eyes, she’s just a girl, ordinary and unremarkable. She can’t equate that with the hyperbole of the poems and songs I’ve written about her, the words and worlds that roll out of my mouth when I see her.

This is the best thing about love.

Love can show another human being aspects of themselves that they cannot see themselves due to propinquity or habitude. When I sing her something and she smiles, she understands. I know that apperception will melt away like a snowflake’s kiss. We are all such masses of debits and doubts, none of us truly believes we are worthy of love, which is why it shocks us so and why the belief in love evaporates so disastrously quickly.

But when I’m honest, when I let pure love pour out, too stupefied to barricade it, something happens. I know, for a second at least, love has shown her how extraordinarily, preternaturally wonderful she is.