July 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
I couldn’t help myself to you. Your love had a mysterious mass. I was not not in an orbit. But the orbit I was in was irregular and I had only a very wavering hold on the tides I was affecting. For all I know in fact the tides were holding me. They were not the in and out sort. They made shifting and unusual patterns. I lived in constant fear of the oceans becoming still. Some days I could have sworn I felt the heat of the sun grow hotter.
I have spent so much of my life two steps away from the situation, watching myself watching myself. So many days have felt cloudy though it was clear enough. A lingering hunch it was cloudy even when it wasn’t. Events unfolding without regard to my will though they pretended to be. Dreamlike, sort of, but less like watching something. More like being a very heavy thing stretched very far and floating above some kind of race where the stakes were quite high and you were affecting it somehow but how exactly you did not know. Things just happening and happening, or not, which is a sort of happening. The general pervading sense: bewilderment. If I reached out to set a thing to motion it was in spite of me and if I didn’t it was in spite of me also.
It is a sort of drowning in the air while your life passes by at exactly the speed of life. You flail while you try to do so many other things also. You would have a better chance at surviving if you could concentrate wholly on the flailing, but alas, you are somehow not permitted, as if there are rules here you can’t not follow but can’t know. You reach. So much reaching. Or you exhale. To somehow try and lower yourself back down onto the same plane that existence seems to be going on on. It is an uncomfortable awareness of physics happening to everything but you. Maybe it is thing with your brain, you wonder. Maybe it is a thing with the universe, you wonder. Maybe it is a thing with everyone else’s brains. Maybe these are the same sorts of things, you wonder. Maybe it isn’t even A Thing.
And I was trapped there for so long, in that strange hinterland where nothing is quite tied down and though there is gravity it too floats. You brought me back, to The Place, the existence, the quarks and the photons. To hardness and to the smell of earth and rot. You plucked me from my place. I had nothing to do with it; I couldn’t have had. You hugged me when I came down. I didn’t know you.
This, I remember thinking, is what love is. Love is a sort of gravity, a sort of sobriety, a sort of pair of good boots. Suddenly I could push a thing and it would retreat from me. It was like landing on a familiar shore. I wanted to kiss the beach, eat the sand. I could not wait to walk. I felt like a child again, in a world made of real things that I left when I broke.
That is not what love is, though. Love is not a pair of good boots. Because love is not a tool. Love is not a cure. Love, like me, is a broken thing. It doesn’t have a use. It isn’t good for anything outside of it being what it is. Like Heidegger said a hammer becomes art when it busts. See, love is like a hammer that never was a hammer. And that is what makes it such A Thing.
And so I went back to my drowning. I was going there anyway. It was only a matter of time. And love would have brought you with me. Drowning people always try to drown the people that try to save them.