Thought Catalog

Love Someone Like You’re Six

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Love someone like you’re six. Bring your favorite toy to school to impress her; watch her hold it in her tiny hands and swell with pride when she’s receptive. She has good taste. Watch her cautiously; you couldn’t live if she accidentally dropped it, broke it. Draw pictures of her in your coloring book, in the margins, and ask your mother if she’s allowed to come over. Blush when she kisses you on the ear after you’ve skinned your knee. Blush whenever someone says her name. Whenever someone says her name, think it sounds like a curse or a whisper or a prayer.

Love someone like you’re ten. Notice that you like all of the same things: the same songs, the same animals, the same colors. You know there’s something between the two of you but you’re both too inexperienced to acknowledge it. Stand side by side during your elementary school graduation ceremony and feel a surge of loss course through his body and then through yours. Sign his autograph book; skip the white pages and the yellow pages and the blue pages. Sign the pink page, the one that means ‘love.’ Wear gloss and press your lips against the paper. Leave an imprint of your mouth between the words, ‘See U Soon’ and ‘Call me – 718- 768 – 8404.’ Never see each other again.

Love someone like you’re thirteen. Let him walk you home one night in October and ignore every chill. When he leans in to steal a kiss from your mouth, let him. Open your eyes in shock when you realize there’s tongue. Clench his shirt with your fingertips, release it, rest your open palms on either side of him and be unsure if you’re pulling him closer or not. When it’s over, slap him because you don’t know how else to tell him you liked it.

Love someone like you’re sixteen. Pass her in the hallways at school and try to transform yourself into something alluring, something confident. Know every CD she has in her car and her Taco Bell order and who her best friends are. Feel like your heart will explode when she signs on AIM, when she arrives at a party, when she looks in your direction. Get her alone one night, sit in her car and listen to songs you’ll never forget the words to. It’ll be the only time you lose your virginity but the first time you lose yourself.

Love someone like you’re nineteen. Spend hours looking at each other and saying nothing; meet each other’s parents. Text him from the bathroom of your childhood home when you’re visiting for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas; say, “I wish you were here.” Drive around town together, put your hand on his knee and watch sidewalks and miles fly by; take interest in the blur because you can see your future in it.

Love someone like you’re twenty-five. Go to the movies even though you’re already sure you hate going to the movies, do it because she wants to. Spend weekdays and weekends together, get to know each other in the backs of cabs. Stay up until 4 AM because you’re young again; go to bed at 9 PM because you don’t have to prove yourself anymore. Don’t feel overwhelmed when they call instead of text, don’t feel afraid to be yourself. Be in Love.

Love someone like you’re thirty. Not like you’re running out of time, not like your options are drying up. Love him because despite failure and disappointment and fear, you can’t help yourself. Love him in spite of your past; believe in your potential when your better judgment tells you not to.

Love someone like you’re fifty, like the future has come and gone and will return again and it’ll all feel underwhelming because you know who you are and who she is and who “we” is and knowing that makes the rest manageable, you’ve learned.

Love someone like you’re eighty. Look out of your window or in a newspaper or at the television and hear smell taste collateral damage: the result of the world passing you by, leaving you behind. Count the things you no longer understand on both hands; then count the one thing that still makes sense, that has always made sense and think, that’s all right. TC mark

image – Elliot Brown

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    • Anonymous

      This was wonderful.

    • Diana

      the problem with reading these articles while im still in class is that i awkwardly tear up in front of the screen, and then everyone thinks i’m really affected by the cognitive processes of attention and memory.

    • http://twitter.com/StylistaDeals Stylista Deals

      Beautiful

    • http://www.hope.gr/ Eleni Zoe

      Epic. Love. Love. Love this. 

    • http://twitter.com/thiboroo Leah Thibodeau

      I just cried. Bravo. 

    • Anonymous

      ‘Count the things you no longer understand on both hands.’ Excellent. And: big ups for semicolons.

    • Guest

      Loved this!

    • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

      I’m going to love like I’m 16 forever. Or until I start to love like I’m 21.

    • Lindsay

      this is beautiful

    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

      I’d much rather love someone like they’re six.

      • rose georgia

        !!!!!

    • Nohora Galan

      Beautiful :)

    • Rebecca

      bawlin’ like a baby

    • Eric

      Love it.  So poignant

    • Marty

      This is a cry for dick. will someone please give this girl some dick!

      • Fuck Marty

        Get the fuck off the internet.

      • Kate

        also, have you seen this girl? DEFINITELY not in need of any dick.
        AND she can write. 

    • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

      Gahhhh, I’m crying at work now.  This was beautiful.

    • Guest

      this was so sweet. thanks

    • Anonymous

      I enjoyed this until we got past age 25. But, I don’t blame you because I’d imagine you have yet to reach 30, 50, or 80 years old, so it the writing, although enjoyable loses a very real element. I wonder if (given the TC audience) you would’ve been better off leaving it capped at 25… 

    • Anonymous

      smlk.es/96s7qL

    • Sophia

      your style is flawless and beautiful and makes me feel things.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9383035 Scott Muska

      One of the greatest things I’ve read in a long time.

    • knjoy

      This was stunning. 

    • Guest

      Funny how the 19 year old one doesn’t ring true for me; I’m 19 going on 20, and I love like I’m 30.

      • Anonymous

        I think that the 30 one was generically mature, since obv stephanie doesn’t know what it’s like to be 30

    • http://twitter.com/JustGeeee Geleen Faye Gallego

      I love this. Stephanie is a genius in expressing feelings only our subconscious mind knew. Love someone like your 10… Never see ezch other again.. haaaaaay

    • Oh, ya know

      I love love love this. The love like your 19 part is so accurate, and “so college.” 

    • Corey Jackson

      This is beautiful!

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