We want love because we do not need it.
We want love in order to occupy empty spaces: the left side of the bed, or any side, you don’t mind; the chair across from you at the dinner table, at the kitchen table, at the table at a dimly-lit restaurant, half-booth and half bench; the stool beside you at the café, at the bar, by the kitchen window on sunny and slow Sunday mornings; the hole in your heart, left by a former lover or of your own doing; someone to turn to with an amused smile and a silent and mutual understanding at the occurrence of something that is amusing or infantile or both; that feeling that we call emptiness.
We want love because we want to be understood, because we have been misunderstood for so long and we are so tired of being the only ones to understand ourselves. We want love because it is the surest feeling of acceptance.
We want love so that we can share moments and memories that are held in our minds like photographs, and to share all that will happen: getting a new job; being fired from an old job; a letter of acceptance to a school, a program, a dream; the little girl in the pink rain jacket and rainbow hued umbrella who emerges from the train with her father every Wednesday afternoon (that you now plan your Wednesdays around this event, because it appears auspicious); a road-trip across America at summer’s peak; the first sunburn of the season; the first tears; the sacred act of listening to Nina Simone in bed on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and never feeling quite so alive; a quick kiss before rushing in opposite directions the next morning.
We want love because we have read too many times that there is no life without it, that there is no fulfillment without a “better-half” or “significant other”, and though we no longer ascribe to these beliefs, and though we know that it is possible not to have been in love with a better-half or a significant other in a lifetime, and though we know that we are just fine on our own, we’d rather these things not be true.
We want love in order to be able to tell someone stories: stories that are true and invented and read like secrets; extracts from a magazine article, a line from an essay, a word in a book; stories you created about them before you ever met them, when you did not have them, when they were finally yours’; poems that remind you of them; poems that remind you of nothing about them; that time when you were six and your fell off your bike; that time you drowned; your dreams retold as stories; that time you felt like you were drowning.
We want love because we want to listen, we want to listen to their stories too.
We want love because we want to love.
We want love because we want to be loved.