Friday, September 8, 2006

Just Us

Notice how they're always talking about love? -- these great teachers from history? Of course it's a universal theme. But why? Either it's just some hardwired quirk in the human psyche, a random evolutionary byproduct that may have some advantage or may factor in as an overall neutral -- or it's an actual quality of the universe. If the first, then it is fundamentally meaningless, except to us humans. If the second, then it says something about the nature of God.

Because love is a function of intellect and emotion, so if love is embodied in the substrate of reality, then reality partakes of intellect and emotion. As to which is the case, we each have our axioms, and I won't belabor them. As with a geometric proof, I simply state that I believe in a creating intelligent God; I believe that there is purpose to life; I believe we can align ourselves through free will with this purpose as we understand it, or we can ignore it or work at cross purposes to it. One might call this latter, "evil". But that may be melodramatic.

The only true things we know, are what we know about ourselves -- I must have said this before. That's why I don't feel the need to apologize for being so introspective. Of course I'm too introspective, but there it is. I'm too tall, too. What am I supposed to do about that? The upside is that I do occasionally arrive at some sort of self-awareness, and the social benefit of that is it might help someone else. Compared to the angry, acidic and impatient young man I once was, the current me is a fricking paragon of virtue. Problem is, it's just about too late for my many excellent qualities to work their magic in the world. Why?

In my erratic and semi-themeless recent postings, there still might be found a message. Poor little Jack doesn't feel loved. Poor lost Jack has no one to give his love to. And if love has actual worth, then Jack is cut off from a huge part of reality.

I don't mean sex, stupid. God. Grow up, will you? Yes, I'm well aware of your boner, avert my eyes though I may. It looks painful, from the brief glimpse I couldn't help catching. But thanks for imagining I take an interest. Such a compliment. Now can we be serious again?

As I was saying ... ugh, where was I? Huh. Okay. Love. Um ... no, you know, I'm really bothered with what you just did. What the hell's the matter with you? We don't have to be all solemn, but there's a time and a place for nonsense. That kind of openness is fine. I mean we live in bodies, and they have functions. But your little outburst wasn't about any natural bodily process. You did it on purpose, just to be rude. Oh, not rude? Then what? Silly? Daring? Again, these things have their place, but was this really the time?

I'm glad you trust me enough, and feel comfortable enough to be so open with me. I'm not trying to shame you. Maybe we just have different standards, different ideas about what's proper. I know I'm not the most gifted guy in the world, either about acting appropriately, or about making friends. And I want you to know that I really appreciate your friendship. It matters to me. It's not like I have many friends. Or any, even, except maybe you. I do want you to know that I consider myself to be your friend. Why do you think I spend the time I do, here, speaking with you? Of course I'm reaching out. This is a mystery? Sometimes the conversation gets a bit one sided, but it's not like you don't have a lot going on too. You could share some of it with me. I'll listen. I'm good at listening.

It's like eye contact. Remember? I was just talking about that. I don't forget what I talk about, and I'm glad you remember at least some of it. Tells my you care, after your fashion. But my point is that eye contact, I've noticed, is harder for me than it used to be. Not just out of practice. It's more than that. I've thought about it -- of course -- and I think it's just so awfully intimate. And I'm out of practice with intimacy. All my loved ones are gone. And intimacy is as close to love as smoke is to flame. Ouch. It burns. And it hurts.

But I suppose that's just on the surface. Yes. No. I remember now. It only hurts after the betrayal. After the loss. After the despair. Or during. But why does the "during" last so long?

Anyway. Love. No, I won't say that I love you. I don't feel that we know each other well enough. I like you. I'm fond of you. But this is as much as we might feel for a dog. Can't love an animal, no matter what they say. It's not love. No, not love. Affection, fondness -- I won't open up a thesaurus. But love is of a different order. I don't mean to say I think of you as a pet. Of course not. I'll say this much. I want to love you. If I got to know you, I would love you.

And it doesn't have to do with you. Hope you're not offended. Just telling it as I see it. Love isn't about the object. It's not like a firehose aimed at a fire. It's like sunlight. It lands where it lights. With me, it's just a matter of daring. Courage. My supply is low, nowadays.

But there have been times when I've loved everyone. These rare experiences might last for days, and they are a literal ecstasy. Joy. Transcendental. Yes, I remember. It's been some years, now. But you were part of it. I remember going through the list of people I didn't love, and I loved them. They were part of the everybody I loved. You were too, even though I didn't know you.

But you knew that already, about me, didn't you. I'm something of a mystic. Or used to be. You did know that about me, didn't you? These past years have seen me fold into myself -- like some heliotropic plant, shading itself from what most plants crave. Maybe that's what evil is. Avoiding your purpose. And if love is the purpose, we are without excuse, for all that it brings pain.

Maybe I'm too intense. I'm working at not being that way. It frightens people. So I'm practicing seeming normal. Not very good at it, but that's what practice is for. I think I'm getting better. None of that matters, though. Being true matters. Being kind matters. Being considerate and gracious matters. But none of that matters either. Of course it's love that matters, but I'm not going to say it, for all that I've being saying it. I won't say it because there is so little love that passes through me, now.

I am immobilized.

And put your boner away. God. Why the hell do I even bother.


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