I am in a K-Mart in the middle of summer and I am trying to love you more. You are helping me pick out towels but everything you’re saying to me sounds like static and I wish I could just leave you there right in the middle of the store but I don’t because I know better than to do that to someone I see naked on a semi-regular basis. My skin is sticky, I am wearing swim trunks out in public because it’s too hot to wear anything else and, although it’s hard to explain how or why, I feel young. My legs feel young. My spine feels young. My face feels young. And this is how I know I am going to outgrow you. This is how I know I am never going to be able to love you more. Because I am too young to be this fucking over it.
I am on a porch with someone else, someone new, and it’s summer again and I’m trying to love you more. I concentrate on the things I like about you. Like, maybe your eyes. Your eyes are stunning. Or the fact that my best friend Ethan once remarked to me that you have the kind of beauty that creeps on someone. It’s true. You don’t realize how gorgeous you are until the light hits your face in a certain way or you make a silly face and then it all comes together for me. I realize just how perfect you are and it’s still not enough somehow. I’m still stuck here trying to figure out how to love you more and I wish someone could just show me the answers in the back of the book so I wouldn’t feel so fucking defective all the time. But that’s not the way love works. You either got it or you don’t and I know I don’t have it–not for you, not for anyone else, and maybe not even for myself.
I am meeting you for the very first time. We are at a house party and I’m already trying to love you more. I’m imagining what our relationship would like—a dog, pillows, dinner parties, a solitary tear running down cheek set to My Bloody Valentine or some other gay shit—and I already love it. It’s like someone pitched me the idea of our relationship and I said yes without reading the fine print. It’s embarrassing because I don’t even know who you are. I kiss you that night to see if it will make me understand you better but it doesn’t. Nothing ever does because I don’t bother to pay attention. I fall in love with ideas and fantasies rather than whole beings and then I sit here and wonder why I’m still alone. It’s because I don’t fucking pay attention. I’m too busy thinking about tomorrow that today falls through the cracks.
Life is not a game. Life is not a clean narrative and people are real and flawed and you can’t force anything on them or yourself. The second you try to love someone, it’s gone. And if you find yourself in this kind of situation over and over again, maybe it’s time for you to take some time to try to love yourself.