When You’re More In Love With The Idea Of A Person Than You Are With Them

Gianni Cumbo
Gianni Cumbo

We talked last week for the first time in months. I was going to tell you that I liked you because I knew your rejection was what I needed to finally move on.

You told me five months ago that you were afraid of heights, but you still came climbing with me — even though you knew that we would be isolated and stuck on the rocks for some time. We were supposed to play Pin-The-Mustache On The Character while watching “Up” but we didn’t have scissors or tape. You listened to me talk about strategy behind my favorite childhood game, Hot Lava Monster, and proceeded to play a round with me.

You also asked me if I thought I were crazy, but not that kind of crazy. I smiled back, completely clear of what you meant. Yes, I do think I’m crazy in that way. One of my favorite quotes in reference to this notion is that for someone to constantly deprive themselves of happiness and to embrace sadness and deny happiness inevitably becomes crazy after a certain point. So yes, I am crazy. But am I crazy? I don’t know. Maybe, but I hope not. 

It is these little things about you that makes me smile about the most inane things. These little things that are too easy to hear but never to understand. But you always listened to everything I said no matter how inconsequential and insignificant it was. You were the first person in years I was this honest to.

I am afraid to write about you. Not because I am afraid of showing you how I feel; I know this isn’t reciprocated and I know that this honesty will only push you away, maybe for good. I’m scared because the more I write about you, the more I begin falling in love with this projected image of you. I begin falling in love with this static person in my memory and not the real you. And though I know that these qualities may not change and that these memories are only a few weeks young, it is always dangerous to fall in love with an apparition—especially a fleeting one.

Because we all want to believe that we are loved. Because we are told that if we do good things in the world, good things will happen to us. Because we fundamentally want to believe in “the one” and that the fairytales we were raised on were more than just fictional stories. Because we see happiness elude us and we desperately yearn for that human carnal instinct — companionship. It’s way too easy to overthink the meanings of a hand on the curvatures of your back guiding you across a busy street and it’s far too easy to become infatuated with the first person who you’ve felt a spark with in years.

But this is reality. Things don’t go the way we want them to. You could say that this isn’t fate, or you could say that these are the woes of life. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you choose to justify it, because at the end of the day, we don’t get everything we want.

I remember when we pinky-promised at the train station that we would talk to each other once a week. I remember you saying that you were bad at keeping in touch. I remember actively repressing that fact and constantly following up with you to talk. I remember you getting stressed out about recruiting and falling off the earth. I remember you telling me how hard life was for you, and I remember wishing that I could be there for you. I remember wanting you because you were the only one who understood my insanity.

To nostalgic afternoon sunshine and crossed legs by the fountain and cheap ice cream and strong drinks. To long drives by the ocean. To the light reflecting off of our sunglasses and to happiness refracted all around us. To being honest, earnest, and present. To giving the greatest gift you could have ever given to me: reminding me that sparks do exist and to never compromise for anything less.  

I know that all of this will amount to nothing and I know that this will be another ache, but at least I can walk away knowing how it truly feels to have loved and lost. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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