I have no time, right now, for love. The romantic kind, at least.
There is growing-up to do, stories to write and books to read, futures to plan and scrap and plan again.
But I have thought about it. I have thought about it a good deal. It seems silly not to, being so central a part of the human condition. Follow the umbilical cord of anything, and you’ll return to the same, warm womb: love. All we do, all we feel, is but a manifestation of it – yes, even hate, which is but love turned sour.
So many people yearn for it. Our culture is saturated with the concept. For some, it has turned into an obsession, a fairy wand that will magically create happiness and self-esteem. People kill for love. People weep for love. Debase themselves, manipulate others like tin soldiers, froth into monsters. Many things are mistaken for love: lust, ego, status. There are entire industries catered to those who are having trouble with it, and still more for those seeking it.
Frankly, it all seems like a lot of unnecessary hullabaloo.
Love is very simple. You don’t even need to experience romantic love to know what it is, what it feels like, and what it’s true form is. If you have anyone you love in the world, be it a sister, a brother, a mother or a father, or even a pet, then you already know.
Love is a feeling, in your chest, warm and liquid.
Love is when you wouldn’t mind hugging someone for an eternity.
Love is cuddling up to another human being at night when the world seems so big and strange, so you don’t feel so alone in the universe anymore.
People lie, side-by-side, across the globe, knitted into pairs, in their little bedrooms, because they are lost and confused, deep inside, and being with each other makes us feel a little better. Never underestimate a hug or a kiss, or any sign of affection. That kind of thing can heal you, in a tiny way, each time, and in the absence of it, souls wither.
All we have is each other. We are spontaneous organisms, swirling in a mesh of unasked-for consciousness, sleepwalking and dreaming strange things. No matter how much success, wealth or status we have, at the end of the day, we all just want to come home to a pair of warm arms.
Love tells us everything is okay, and we need this because everything is not okay. Everyone is making it up as they go along. No-one knows anything: why we are here, if there is a purpose, what it all even means.
So we cling onto each other, so that we don’t tumble into the abyss.
It may be a false comfort, but it is a sweet one.