There is this thing we talk about, which is evasive to so many but yet, this is real. There is this life; there is this feeling, based on emotion and based on a connection, which of course is undeniable—and yet, there is this fear that becomes a nightmare because what if our dream comes true? What is life without love? Then what?
Are we loveless? Are we alone? Or does this mean we are forever to seek an evasive dream; hoping and wondering, and each time we think we feel something, we find ourselves asking, “Is this it?” And maybe it is. Or maybe it isn’t? But we have to taste it to know. We have to feel it. We have to try it to understand. We have to otherwise, we’d never know, right?
When there’s love, there is nothing else in the world. This is like being a kid again, but perpetually and ongoing and hopefully, until life or longer. Nothing else exists. Nothing is important except for the two who become one.
Everything else is either decoration or distraction. Everything else is either for us or against us, but either way—when there’s love, there’s love—nothing else matters. The lights could go out. The street signs could change. We could go bankrupt. The news could come on and talk about the end of days but when there’s love, we can laugh this off or be silly and order Chinese food.
I can think of the times that I was alone. I can think of times when I wondered if love was evasive or maybe it was me. Maybe there are people who are not destined for love.
Maybe there are people whose fate has other intentions and perhaps this was me. Was it my natural process of selection? Was I the case of wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the wrong time? I went through changes as a person. I grew. I advanced. I matured, but yet, there was something missing.
Was it me? Was I the reason?
I had written a poem when I was very young:
When I listen
I can hear you in my thoughts
And when I look
I can see you in my dreams
and behind the walls of my eyelids
But I only hope that someday soon
I can hold you in my arms
This poem said so much about me and my life. I knew this was for someone special but I wasn’t sure who. I knew there was someone destined for me, but where was she? How long does it take to find happiness? I had so many questions and so many things that were absolutely beyond my control. And all I wanted to know was when—when would it be my turn?
I was lost for a very long time. But more than lost, I was afraid. I was afraid that I was unlovable, unmatchable and certainly not datable. I swore there was something that placed me at odds with the general assembly of the world and their love life. Was it the way I looked? Was it my eyes that are shaped differently? Was it that my ears that are shaped different from each other? Was it my teeth or my smile? Maybe it’s the way I speak—and I understand the written word has no voice; but I do. What does my voice say? Is it my accent or my pronunciation? I don’t know. Besides, what brings people together anyway? Is an introduction just a word that somehow opens the eyes of someone else and immediately changes the scenes of our life?
I don’t know if I knew what love is or was or will be. I only know that I understood what it meant to feel the absent vacancy, like an old hotel room that hadn’t been made up. I only know that love is without any mistake, the bravest emotion we can share. Love is not the perfection of hair and skin. Love is not always decorated or made up. Love has nothing to do with high-heels or flats, long legs or otherwise. Love is not without flaw; however, when love is there; flaws are meaningless, unobjectionable, and insignificant.
Like you, me, or anything else in the world that lives and breathes; love is alive, which means that love needs to breathe. Love needs to be nurtured and sheltered. Love needs food and water and all the things that make people grow big and strong.
Love can be weak. Love can be challenged. Love can be broken, but then again; so can we. We can be weak. We can be broken. We can be challenged and beaten, compromised and kicked into submission—but we can heal and thus, love can heal too.
This means we can recover. This means love can recover. This means neither you or I will ever be alone because there is love between us—good or bad, easy or hard—love is the tie that binds us. Love is the evasive path that has led me around the world and kept me awake during sleepless nights. And I say this was fuel. I say this is art. This is part of my purpose; —to find love and give love and build with this as best as I possibly can.
You know . . .
Come to think of it, I can remember my nights out. I was a young man. I can remember the outfits I wore. I can remember the hours before leaving my house to meet with friends. I swear I must have dressed and undressed a dozen times. I’d change my outfit. I’d try on different things to see what looked best, but in the end, I’d go back to the outfit that I originally put on in the beginning.
I used to see people. You know who they are. They were the power couples. They were the couples that everybody knew—and somehow, they had a status because of their love. Somehow, they were connected by some unseen bond—and it was enough to make a person sick at times. It was enough to make a person envious or maybe jealous or maybe this was only enough to make a person wonder if this was real—or ask themselves, “When will this be me?”
I can remember nights when tiny ambulances screamed in my head. I can remember nights in the city. I can remember nights that were so absolutely loveless—and yet, there I was. I was playing a role. I was rehearsing the part. I was acting as if because the one thing I wanted is the one thing that I believed would cure me of all of my social ills. I wanted love. I wanted to be beautiful and feel beautiful and not care an ounce about anyone or anything.
There was a young girl who used to speak to me before she went off to college. I knew her father and he knew a little about me. He had asked if I would talk to his daughter and of course, I agreed. This was years ago. She used to tell me about her friends and how some of them received more attention than she did. She said this was because they were prettier than her. I disagreed.
I thought about the personal travels of mine and my misperception of beauty. I thought about my inaccurate judgments and how they led me astray; and I say this in both a figurative and literal sense. I thought about the misappropriation of love and the misperceptions of beauty.
I told her about my battles with finding the right wardrobe. I told her about my friends and how they looked. I told her about my discomforts at the beach because I never had the six-pack abs or the big-muscled arms. I was only me. And to me, I was always worried that being me was never going to be enough
I met the ugliest people in the most beautiful skin, which is why I came to this one, very special realization:
As beautiful as someone is on the outside; if they are ugly on the inside then they can only be average at best. I offered this information to my young friend. I told her, “You couldn’t be average if you tried.”
She told me, “I know that I’m beautiful.”
I smiled and said, “Oh yeah, and how do you know that?”
She said, “Because Uncle Benny told me so.”
Mic drop and boom!
She put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye.
Love is not elusive or evasive
Love is as real as you or me.
How do I know?
Because I love you