I’ve been hurt.
In the past my heart has been so broken that I, in fits of dedicated melodrama and self-pity, thought that I might actually die. The ache has been so deep, profound, prolonged and intense that just inhaling and exhaling cut my aortic tissue like the dull blade of a blunt bread-knife on crusty, stale rye.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Slice. Slice. Slice.
The fact that human beings are capable of feeling emotional pain so intensely that it becomes physical is a strange phenomenon. So strange, in fact, that scientists do not know how, or why, when we feel heartbreak, our hearts actually ACHE.
It is rumored that we can even die from this pain.
In 2003 Johnny Cash died within 3 months of his wife June. For some it is clear that Cash died of a broken heart. Nobody really knows. Broken Heart Syndrome is commonly attributed to the death of a person whose spouse is recently deceased, and is clinically different from a heart attack because the patient had few risk factors for heart disease and was previously healthy prior to the heart muscles weakening.
It’s one of ‘those things’.
Like missing socks and unexplained stains on pale beige carpet.
Like broken down cars in desolate places.
Lately I’ve wondered if accidentally inflicting heartache is worse than feeling it myself. My thoughts are inconclusive, but the turmoil is steady and nauseating. I loathe myself but am powerless to end it. I cannot force myself to feel something I do not. I cannot will my heart to open when who-ever has the damn key has buggered off down the pub with his mates, the dog, and a couple of rent-a-scrags from the local lap-dance emporium that exists in a parallel universe inside a donkeys ass, with neon lights, chrome plated karaoke booths and busty, shrewish barmaids who lick beer foam from manicured fingertips and whisper throaty suggestions into the hairy, lice-infested ears of bored customers.
How’d you like them apples?
I realize that, if I want to get to the bottom of heartbreak, I must first get to the bottom of love.
‘Tis indeed a funny and elusive thing.
And just as mystical.
It’s never around when you want it, completely invisible if you search for it, and smacks you over the head as soon as you decide you’re content and satisfied without it.
See? Just like fairies.
And, again just like those sneaky fairies, love is hard to hold on to. If you try to hold it close it’s little legs will kick and grind while tiny teeth bite into the fleshy palm of your hand and petite, gossamer wings beat out frenzied flutterings against your gripping fingers.
Love, like fairies, does not like to be trapped.
Love, and fairies, prefer to fly and flit and dance around your head and heart, like pesky gnats and flies on a summers day.
Some people go a whole lifetime without ever experiencing it. Others seem to fall over it, arse over turkey, every five minutes. Some of us find lasting love while others get brief spurts of it that spur them on to greater heights and bigger dreams. To others, still, it is a burden, something to be embittered and weighed down by, a heavy chain around a bowed neck.
But what is love?
I don’t mean the love we feel for our fathers, mothers, children, friends, pets or the fresh lobster pasta and triple vodka Bloody Mary’s at The Ivy, but the ‘falling-in-love’ love, the one that renders people stupid and leaves them dribbling in padded corners.
WHAT IS IT?!!!
I’ve felt it. I’ve given it. I’ve received it. I’ve even been lucky enough to have the giving and receiving of love occur at the same time, WITH THE SAME PERSON!!!! A rare occurrence indeed.
BUT WHAT IS IT????
I’ve felt it, but I can’t define it. I’ve had it, been uplifted by it, lost it and missed it. I’ve looked under rocks for it, seen glimpses of it behind mossy-barked trees in dappled glades behind waterfalls and rainbows…. but I’ve never been able to say, for certain, what it really is.
So lets give it a whirl, shall we?
Sigmund Freud once speculated that a man could be in love with a woman for six years and not know it until many years later.
Sigmund Freud was, in my opinion, a fucking quack.
Wikipedia defines love as “a basic dimension of human experience that is variously conveyed as a sense of tender affection, an intense attraction, the foundation of intimacy and good interpersonal chemistry, willing self-sacrifice on behalf of another, and as an ineffable sense of affinity or connection to nature, other living beings, or even that which is unseen. It manifests itself in feelings, emotion, behavior, thoughts, perception and attitude. It influences, underlies and defines major patterns in interpersonal relationships and self-identification.”
The more I read the less I know, the less I want to know, and the less I give a shit about the question.
It starts to strike me that we, humans, are unable to define love, but are sometimes adept at expressing it, if we’ve felt it, that is.
I poke about on the Internet and finally discover a way to solve some of our problems with love.
I come across THE LOVE CALCULATOR.
Beguiled by the sheer brilliance of this contraption I type in my own name, and that of another. My chest flutters. I breathe. Trepidation fills the air. I press “calculate” and read what follows.
| miss ass bandit
|| attention deficit disorder
“Dr. Love thinks that a relationship between miss (ass) bandit and attention deficit disorder has a reasonable chance of working out, but on the other hand, it might not. Your relationship may suffer good and bad times. If things might not be working out as you would like them to, do not hesitate to talk about it with the person involved. Spend time together, talk with each other.”
Apparently it’s as easy as that.
And somehow, no matter how silly that sounds… I am calmed by it.