it's a serious one, kids. bryanambition = bryanrenovation...
Could you love someone out of sympathy? Someone who is so badly hurting, aching to the deepest marrow of their bones, trembling in fear and shivering cold, devoid of the womblike warmth they crave without knowing it, the only airtight, secure comfort that could ease their pain and warm their minds. Using the convex curve of whatever feelings you expel that comprise love to fill in the concave void of theirs would make a perfect circle, wouldn’t it? Pain, like love, is blind. It can come on like a sneeze and never needs a reason, but has plenty; death, broken heart, loss. And those are just internal pains. Cuts, scrapes and broken bones cause wincing and tears, but there’s no Neosporin for the soul.
People in pain are vulnerable; they’re open and they want. And people with the right heart want to give them what they think they need. Their hearts focus on the afflicted and spit out register tapes teeming with reasons why that person is suddenly attractive, reasons why you should comfort them and possibly later be with them. So could you ever love someone simply because you felt sorry for them?
I admitted to myself that I’m falling hard for someone, and the more I consider why, the more I realize it’s because I feel sorry for them. I put forth sympathy whenever I allow myself to be around them, and it’s starting to freak me out. Not once did I consider my motives to not be of a noble nature; I sympathize because I empathize. I know exactly what he’s going through. The pea under my pillow is that I don’t know what this person looks like. I’ve never actually met him, but I know him well. E., I’ll call him, is a character in a book I’m reading that will, upon completion, be the most amazing book I’ve ever read. And my use of amazing isn’t a routine substitution for terrific, brilliant or incredible. I am amazed, awed, left beyond words and comprehensive thought by this book. E. feels the worst kind of love there is, the stabbing, renewing pain of unrequited love and the crippling confusion it causes.
I’ve called this character by his name. I’ve cried with him. I’ve contrived with him. My hands have crawled down my pants and met my erection with his name on my tongue and the vision I’ve assigned to him on my mind, no doubt a conglomeration of all I hold sacred in this life; his lips, nose and eyes the most perfect quilt of what I love. His brain, his mind, a projection of my own, speaks in paintings and poetry, an abstract language only we understand.
I think I may love him—I run to his books and read his poetry. I find myself constantly obsequious to him, the same reason I found him attractive in the first place. His happiness is contingent on someone he holds dearly, and it’s costing him his life. Those are tears that flow with a deep red the heart pumps at its slowest, keeping the body alive just enough to still exist.
Yesterday I held his head as we napped; my left hand rested on the open book while my right cradled my own head, and though the nap lasted well over three hours, I didn’t move an inch. And I never thought about it.
The media is scrambling to affix an arbitrary summation to 2009; I’ve heard it called The Year of Mourning, filled with death ranging from Michael Jackson to Patrick Swayze (but not forgetting Brittany Murphy); another station swore 2009 should stand in hotpants and patent leather as The Year of Lady Gaga. And aiming to shed more unnecessary light on the cultural phenomenon known as Jersey Shore, one network aimed to forgo the “somewhat” memorable events of the past 11 months and hew 2009 as The Year of the Jersey Shore. Regardless of what some two-hour compilation airing in late May of next year recalls about the ninth year of the new millennium, it will always be the year that taught me how to love.
Love—one word with more uses and explanations than fuck, the same number of letters and not so different when you really think about it. Both can cause pleasure as well as pain; they both can make you scream, thought the initial lightning bolt of pain when getting fucked quickly flashes away when compared to the skin-tearing, searing pain love can drag on you. Both are passive as well as aggressive. You can both love and fuck the shit out of somebody. You can be loved and you can be fucked. But an oracle by the name of Peaches taught us a very valuable lesson when she revealed her own lascivious form of therapy when she sang “fuck the pain away.” Yes, you can fuck the pain away, but you sure as shit can’t love the pain away. Not when it’s your own pain, when everything you’ve ever held as comforting, secure, identifying and reassuring has tarnished, lost its color, or become so foreign to you that you can’t remember it, and that’s the real tragedy, losing yourself. That’s when someone else can love you based on your loss, your tragedy, your sorrow. You’re open and they’re giving. They give and you receive. But who is that someone? And is it possible?
I’m taking both this thought and E. with me to bed tonight. I’ll be holding tightly someone who, to some, is little more than crisp black letters stamped on an ecru page; to me he’s the perfect embodiment of someone I met this year, who knows both love and fuck so well, the pleasure as well as the pain, the loss as well as the gain, someone who was under and in and on top of my nose for as long as I can remember: me. And I’ve never been so happy to share my bed.