“I love love. I love being in love. I don’t care what it does to me.”
I still remember laying in my room drifting into sleep with my headphones clasped to my ears and as Nate Reuss’s sonic sounds pulsated into my ear canal, I felt like it was the first time someone ever expressed everything I felt like I was missing in life.
I’d like to blame it on watching too many John Hughes movies as a kid or the Boyz II Men cassette tapes my grandmother would let me listen to, but the truth is that I don’t really know how I got this way.
Thinking back, projections of images circulate my brain of being once a small child in elementary school sitting on the top of the slide with Kelly and realizing that our fingers fit together just right. It always tends to remind me of how innocent love is when you’re a kid. And in between games of tag and playing G.I. Joe was that combustible mix of youthful optimism and cooties. Most of the time though, the cooties won.
And as we grow older, our perceptions of love change. Gone are the scenes of naïve kisses under sycamores only to be replaced with late night drives under the glow of illuminated moons. Waxing and waning, each new sunrise provided a new romance for my ever growing collection of hearts that I would spend far too much time writing about missing.
I never knew what I was doing like most people dealing with overriding hormones and those strange voice creaks. There were the illusions of myself standing outside Jennifer’s window with my boom box in order to finally win her heart that collided with the reality that she always liked Chris more than me due to his elegantly disheveled haircut and innocuous way of not paying attention to her.
Well, that wasn’t supposed to happen in the movies.
This of course would lead me to Sarah, the first girl to ever rip my heart from that cavity I call my chest and mercilessly stomp it into nothing.
To be fair, I should have recognized it from our first date when she told me that “I always wanted to tell someone that it’s not you, it’s me,” interspersed between her guzzlings of pasta. I should have recognized it from the silence only interrupted by her declaration of how she was madly in love in with me on our second date. I should have recognized it. Yet I didn’t, because I love love.
So instead of making something of myself, my nights were spent ruminating over Myspace photos and AIM away messages.
Until I met Kimi. For everything Sarah made me feel about love, Kimi was the one who blew the doors off it. From the first hand written letter she wrote me to the thousand word email chains that were sent only to minimize the fact that two feet of lake effect snow was keeping us apart.
I took risks. I took chances. Yet, I should have noticed. I should have known. On the silver screen, the boy always saves the girl.
Maybe I was the one that needed saving. Maybe I was the one worth leaving.
Maybe, just maybe the movies lied to me all these years. Maybe romance isn’t really about finding that elusive one.
Maybe love really isn’t worth all of the trouble. Maybe love is just a façade and life is just playing some twisted Truman Show esque game on me.
But see, I loved love. I loved being in love. And I am not. And I am scared.