I’m so into you it makes me mash my teeth together. It makes me wring my hands. It makes me sweat.
I’m so into you I think about you all the time: sometimes you’re touching me, sometimes we’re talking, sometimes you’re just walking around doing nothing in particular. I’m so into you I have dirty thoughts when you’re fully clothed, and doing something innocuous like sitting on the couch or flossing your teeth or tying your shoes. I’m so into you I want to know everything about your past — the cities you lived in, the jobs you had, the bands you played in, the siblings you fight with, the people you slept with.
I’m so into you I do nothing but stare at you when I’m with you and I know you’re talking because I’m soaking up every word but I’m also looking at your mouth, your eyes, your neck, your hair, your ears, your fingers. I am so into you that while I’m doing that staring, I am trying to find some flaw — just one — something that would make you unattractive to me, that would end this insanity I’ve been forced into feeling — and I can’t find anything, except the way your shirt rides up a little in the front so I can see your stomach and the way your hands move like they’d feel amazing on my back and then I’m just mashing my teeth again and trying to seem like nothing’s happening.
“It’s like, I understand that some people are objectively attractive. Symmetrical faces or nice hair or ‘good’ bodies, right? But then I’m just like, ‘Yeah, okay. They’re good looking. Meh.’ I don’t care. And then I’ll see someone with like, that one thing I can not resist and it’s not even a thing most people would find attractive. Maybe it’s gray hair or dark eyebrows or a certain type of smile. Most people would go, ‘Really? That?’ Meanwhile, I am on fire. On fire. I want them so, so, so badly. It runs so deep I feel it in my bones and it can only be quieted by touching them. It’s like someone lit a flame in my stomach and it’s spreading up to my heart and my throat.”
“So anyway. That’s how I feel.”
“I’m not worried though. It’ll die down.”
“Yeah. Fires usually do.”
When someone you want really badly rejects you (for any number of reasons), is it bad form to throw a legit old school 1950s kid-with-a-lollipop-and-helicopter-beanie temper tantrum? Can you just get down on the floor and slam your fists on the pavement and kick your legs and yell, “But, but, but, I WANT IT. Why can’t I have what I waaaant?”
“It’s not all bad,” she says, sitting across from me outside on a wooden bench while we drink our light beers. “At least, you’ll definitely be writing more.”
When I was in middle school, I had a huge crush on Justin Timberlake. I saw ‘Nsync in concert three times. Each time, I would conjure my favorite fantasy which was that somehow, during the concert, time would stop and everyone would freeze — except me. And I could walk between the frozen crowd to the stage, go up to a still Justin and touch his hair.
Then, I would climb down from the stage, get back to my spot in the audience and unfreeze the world without anyone knowing what I’d done.
It’s lust, not love right? So it’s not really meant to last. It has to end, this intensity can’t sustain itself. It’s too bright, it’s too strong, it’s too much. Especially if nothing can happen between the people involved — if, so to speak, the seeds can’t get any water or sunshine or air.
Like a hypochondriac suffering from some unknown malady, I Google, “How long can lust last?” as I chew my cuticles. (All I do is think about touching you.)
One site tells me that the reason I’m on fire is because my brain signaled a hormone and chemical release when I saw their dirty sneakers and cute little fingernails and the crinkle next to their eyes when they grin, etc etc. It’s testosterone, oxytocin and vasopressin and dopamine flowing through my veins and somehow that manifests in wanting to lick your neck from your shoulder to your ear until you melt or feel your hands pulling in my hair. According to science, who is being very optimistic about the potential between a luster and a lust-ee, the chemical mix “bathes your lover and you.” Another site says it could last up to 18 months, chemically speaking. This infatuation is a long-term illness.
“I’m sorry to say this, but you have …a crush.”
“Oh god, no. Say it ain’t so. How long do I have left, doctor?”
“18 months… or well, until you can rip their underwear off with your teeth.”
Left unchecked, lust is like a tornado, tearing up houses and cows and trailer trucks and feelings and decisions and love with no path, no direction, no home. When you want someone you can’t have, sometimes you think you can just replace them with people you can have, or porn, or ice cream or comic books or anything.
In the mean time, though — and in my experience — it’s like treating an injury that needs to heal; A really unfair injury that you didn’t ask for and can’t control and that might flare up in the future and that you don’t even want to feel.
Take some Advil, elevate your lust and put an icepack on your genitals. Wrap your wanton desire up in an ACE bandage so no one can see it. Limp a little, if you have to, but unfortunately, like with any injury: you still have to walk around.