So…Hi. This is my attempt to peek around a corner, vault awkwardly out of a well-worn chair, jounce the rattlesnake rattle, and coordinate a chaos-shift. Because you see, I was an idler; and the soot in the air that choked me and stole my breath was from my own internal combustion engine. The effluvium caking the alveoli in my lungs was concocted in my very own mad-scientist laboratory. For a long time, I conceded control of my manufactory and took on the role of Dr. Frankenstein’s Igor, Dr. Honeydew’s Beeker, or Dexter’s Dee Dee. Although Dee Dee does have a flitting, effortless indifference the others, including myself, did not. In truth, I was the alchemist of my own misery, not the hunchback, not the unintelligible, not the antagonist.
What was the catalyst of this self-actualization? Aside from the typical and atypical nonsense that ends a relationship? I am in love. Like BIG love. A year ago, I was slogging through the rotting quagmire of a 20-year relationship. I was immersed in a morass thickened with gallons of childhood sexual abuse (hers), two cups of co-dependency (mine and hers), a cup and a half of control (hers), a cup of manipulation (hers), a tablespoon of depression and anxiety sifted together with salt from old wounds (Mine), a pinch of Catholic Guilt (Mine), and a dash of untruth (hers). A shitty-ass recipe for sure. Amelia Simmons would have tossed it out with the bath water. We did try. We did love each other, although love, as an abstract noun, is a shapeshifter; it blurs its edges before you get a chance to ascertain its obdurate form. But yet, we continue to arc towards it, continue to strain to see the blur, continue to hope that it shifts into the form of fairy tale subtext that best suits our necessary definition of love.
As someone who tells her students, her friends, her family and her lovers that she loves them without pause, I am fascinated by those who struggle to give and accept love. My BIG LOVE catalyst and I were chatting during our nightly sweetheart chats two nights ago about what love is, actually “is.” I used my English teacher abstract noun analysis. Used feeling words and giving acts of love to flush out my personal definition. She said that I was defining it in terms of feelings, which were different than love itself. She, as someone who uses the word love with scarcity, reminded me that love is not always good. That being IN love can actually be VERY bad. It is an excuse used by those of us unable to move from a very sick place. A place of abuse, a place of pain, a place of fear and self-loathing. She is right, of course, as my quagmire was a result of the “Things suck….but…I love her” kind of love. The “We like a lot of the same things,” love. The “Fear of the unknown- kind of scared to leave and start over,” love. The “Because this is all I have known for half of my life and maybe since she doesn’t love me with all of that history together no one will,” love…the “I am afraid she will hurt herself if I leave,” love. So yeah, not a fairy tale love.
So what is love? My BLC thinks that if there was an equation, she could figure it out. But she likes to keep things like that unanswered so she can ponder them at times in which she prefers not to listen to meetings and during other mindless routines.We discussed that it would, at the very least, have to be a balanced equation; one that, in order to be a healthy, true love, would have to yield a positive solution for “L.” I said we could figure it out if we thought about it. The equation most definitely must have infinite solutions, with terms wielding chunky exponents. Using joy to label the X-axis and time on the Y. A Hill equation, a Sigmoid perhaps? A 2D Polynomial? We would want to prevent a parabola, and quadratics are out due to the limited solutions. It would need to be relatively simple in the realm of mathematics, as every individual should be able to solve it with some pointed lessons or intense tutoring. And what would the variables be, exactly? C for communication. K for kindness. L for love. T for time together. So do you solve for L or for T? I am going to have to think about this more and get back to you…