“and I remember the lines I thought that I’d forgotten
‘your only flaw is that you’re flawless’
I’m so full of shit, I’m surprised you bought it”
– Flatsound, Don’t Call Me At All
A few months back I posted a post (?) about this girl I’d “fallen in love” with, aptly titled Infection. Well, it’s been about 9 months since, and as much as I hate to revisit the topic, I figured this loose end deserved to be tied off as best it could.
Those of you who read my short story Memoir into Madness / Ashes (i.e. no one on this whole godforsaken planet) may already have guessed at my revelation. Well, maybe revelation isn’t the right word, as it’s something I’ve always known but which I’ve had a hard time accepting. If you haven’t read the story I’d like to suggest you change that, partly because while I’ve categorized it as a work of fiction the damn thing might as well be a chapter right out of my nonexistent autobiography and as such it offers some really great insight into how my mind works, and partly because personally I really like how this one came together. And yeah, no one likes self-advertisement, but hey, it’s on my own blog so it’s totally okay, right?
My not-so-revelatory revelation came in the wake of my amputation’s successful recovery, by which I mean I’ve no longer any feelings for the girl I was once so convinced I loved. Well, no feelings besides profound regret and embarrassment, of course.
It’s a bittersweet feeling, realizing you’ve gotten over someone who was once the source of such intense emotions. On the one hand you’re grateful for the relief, but on the other you feel empty inside, as though all your life you’ve lived with vibrant sunglasses covering your eyes, until one day they fall off and you realize the world is a lot grimmer than you’d been raised to believe. You start to wonder: if something as powerful as what you perceive to be true love can be washed away by time alone, then how profound or real can it be?
It’s a lot more exciting and romantic to convince yourself you’re in love with someone rather than accept the fact that you simply find them attractive, or you enjoy their company, or they have a great personality. “I’m in love with her”sounds a lot less shallow than “I am physically attracted to her”, and it sounds a lot more meaningful than “I enjoy her company”. But that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s a matter of dressing up the truth to dramatize your life in another vain attempt at finding meaning, at finding purpose. True love is such a romantic, endearing concept because it implies some higher power, some greater cosmic force bringing two people together in a bond that will last eternities. And that’s what we crave, isn’t it? Immortality, permanence, and stability. In a world where everything is fleeting and everyone’s days are numbered, it must be nice to come home to someone who can hold you in their arms and keep you from drifting away.
I am of the belief that true love; real, actual, genuine love is a very rare thing indeed, assuming it can even exist at all. To love someone to such a degree, to know them with every fiber of your being and to have them know you just as much, that to me does not seem very possible. Too often do we cloud reality with our perceptions of it, with our expectations and our hopes and our thoughts. So obscured is what we see by how we see it that to love someone rather than your perception of that person is impossible.
And that’s my problem. When I “fall in love” what I’m really doing is creating in my mind a shadow of that person, someone whose missing personality, quirks and traits can all be filled in at my leisure, suited to match my own fantasies of our life together. I’m so busy convincing myself that I love them that I don’t even take the time to get to know them.
I didn’t love that girl; the one I’d written about in Infection. I didn’t love any of them. If anything I loved the idea of them, the version of them I’d created in my mind, and most of all I loved the idea of being in love. Even when I hated it I loved it. It all comes back to my self-destructive personality, and the feeling of fulfillment I seem to get from making myself miserable.
The fever’s abated, and I can see it now for what it was, for what it still is. Even now I’m convinced I’m in love with someone new, an old friend and long time crush I’ve long since cut loose with the rest. It’s the same story all over again; I’ve reasoned that seeing as my feelings for her have yet to abate even after amputation it must be real. But it’s not. I know that, even if I can’t control what I feel. It’s not real now, and it never will be. Not for me, at least.
Not for me.