You walk around the corner looking poised, tall, and calm. You’re not. Most people you can fool. Some you can’t and try to stay far away from. Usually it’s because you love them. Now, it is a man with dapper shoes, a messy house,and quotes onthe bathroom mirror, who waves at you in a way that you mistake for wanting a high five but instead he gives you a hug. He wasn’t what you asked for. Or maybe he was. Yes, you asked for him; one of the people in the world whom you can’t fool. You flounder. He puts his hand on you to be still. He hears but doesn’t listen to any of it because you don’t make sense. He smiles and gives you a kiss. You’re quiet.
He was a complete accident that you tripped over on the way to a known life. You wonder if falling in love is always this disorienting because you forget that you’ve been in love before. It forces you out of yourself and you forget to even put clothes on. Love is like that. You forget you’re naked and forget to be poised and quiet and controlled. You feel like you’ve lost half your weight but realize you’ve gained the weight of an entire person. Your centre of gravity moves. It’s somewhere between you and him but it moves. You chase it and you run away from it. This is disastrous and it’s all you have ever wanted.
Spilling all over yourself, you think you should have been more specific about the love you wanted, as if we really have control over anything. Everything in your life starts to look like a mess from the state of your kitchen floors to your toenails.
You have time for nothing. You don’t sleep or even know if you’re happy or simply crazy. You decide on crazy because love is something that happens to someone when they’re 19 and don’t have kitchen floors to clean or anything to hide. But, even monks fall in love. You read this in a book and it makes you feel human, like all this messy stuff can be separated from the stillness that you thought you had before this whole love thing came about.
You see lightning strike and you watch it rain. You unfold a chair and place it on the covered deck and soon realize that you’re holding hands. He runs into the rain and you watch smiling, hearing your mother’s warning about getting struck by lightning in an open field. He comes back and you give him your seat and head out into the rain when the sky breaks and the sun starts shining. It reminds you of the torrents of summer in Costa Rica where you went alone and had the second best time of your life with the ocean and a surf board. For a moment, you forget he’s there but then remember he’s watching, smiling and in love.
Image by Carlos Henrique Reinesch