Time and again, I figure that anything worth saying in life has already been said by some ageing rockstar wearing eyeshadow. Case in point: Falling in love is so hard on the knees – Steven Tyler, vocalist for Aerosmith.
It is well-known and most people would have experienced it by now, so I’m not disclosing any state secrets in telling you that love hurts. How can it not? You’ve served up your ridiculous, raw heart on a plate to someone who doesn’t have an instruction manual.
There are different degrees of pain and different heights of falling, and some loves are more dangerous even than others.
There is unrequited love. If you love someone who doesn’t love you back, then you’re well and truly fucked.
Worse is the pathological kind of love, when life is not worth living whether with or without the object of your obsession. I fell for you when I was sixteen, and it hurt so goddamn much.
I would get asked why all the time.
“Why,” people would ask, “why have you fallen for someone who is never going to love you back?”
I’m paraphrasing, obviously.
In the real conversations, people would never understand my side, and reiterate “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?” over and over again.
Let’s skip the scientific reasoning because, frankly, all that stuff about nervous systems and dopamine receptors bores me to tears.
Let’s discuss some elementary human nature that all of us can understand.
Why does anyone ever do anything that may cause them harm?
Because it feels good.
And it felt bloody marvelous. You were my most beautiful Technicolor dream. Just spending those evenings in a dark alley, with you in my psyche through my vein, was the most fantastic escape from this rotten reality. It was homecoming, a whole-body orgasm, it was Eden for the soul. Nothing from the real world got through that. Not fear or sorrow or disappointment (nor joy or meaning either, but at the time I didn’t care about all that).
I wanted to know what hunger tasted of.
You were a gateway to an altered reality, and by the time I knew about it, I knew I was primed for you.
I’d read Burroughs and Welsh and Hunter S. Thompson.
Stared at that Trainspotting posters, the one about choosing life, for hours.
That’s what I wanted for myself aged sixteen.
Just a hint of squalor, a darker thread to weave into my otherwise vanilla tapestry.
Also, one thing I realised later in life, I’m an addict by nature. If something gives me pleasure I will keep right on doing it and not give two fucks for the consequences. That’s how it has been since the beginning.
Once you’re an addict, you’re always an addict. It becomes your eternal constant. Only the substance is a variable.
It took me a long while to understand that pleasure and happiness are not kin.
That one is outlier and the other median.
That one is a sharp spike on a wild Saturday night and the other a flat line running through your entire life.
But with you, the lines of contrast were blurred and in paradise, all emotions provided felicity.
I felt invigorated, yet also very comfortable, because you erased all the anxiety and swapped it with euphoria.
But the hardest part of waking up the next morning was remembering everything I was trying to forget the previous night. So I would meet you again that night. And you became my daily ritual.
I knew by then what hunger tasted of.
It tasted like desperation.
And I’d had enough. I found myself gasping for life, sinking within myself, accelerating downwards into the depths of my own oblivion. By no laws of God or man did I deserve another chance.
You’ve caused me considerable trouble and I’ve contemplated ending my life almost every night since I’ve known you. I have tried and believe me I could live without you, but I really don’t want to.
I want to make love to your existence,
drenched in colors of your energy,
and then masturbate to the memories.
I need you, even if you are venom to my soul.