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’.

You know.

“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.

That’s right.


‘Tis indeed a funny and elusive thing.

Like fairies.

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.


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.


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.”

Fuck that.

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.


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 loves 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.



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ZOE BROCK was born in New Zealand and raised in Australia. She has lived in more cities and on more continents than she can count (truly, she's a model and can't count) and is currently residing in the deep fog of San Francisco. Her true home lies on the dusty plains of Burning Man where she feels safe and challenged and truly alive. Zoë once had a very popular blog on MySpace and writes everything from awful poetry to truly delicious dark satire, and all sorts of sexy things in between. She has appeared on the cover of Elle magazine, inside the pages of Vogue, Cosmo and Marie Claire, to name a few, and is working on her memoir, an expose of 'growing up model'. Zoë is also a certified yoga teacher. Yes, that means she's bendy.

8 responses to “The Love Chronicles, Part 1 – In Which the Author Tries to Define Love and Loss”

  1. […] ZOE BROCK chronicles her adventures in love. […]

  2. Leeroy T Mofo says:

    I read this.

    As I remember, love is two naked creepy married children.



  3. zoebee says:

    this is OLD yo!

    I’ve got all the answers now.

  4. Lexy says:

    that’s right !!! Sigmund was a fucking quack! 🙂 well said :o)

  5. The Antipode says:

    Feeling for you Brockie, and can certainly relate of late.

    Screw the mysteries of religion etc. This one’s surely the greatest, but it don’t stop us looking for the answer till the end of here.

    It baffled Bob too but I reckon he gave explanation a fair shot in Tom Thumb’s Blues.

    Now if you see Saint Annie
    Please tell her thanks a lot
    I cannot move
    My fingers are all in a knot
    I don’t have the strength
    To get up and take another shot
    And my best friend, my doctor
    Won’t even say what it is I’ve got.

    Hope the road trip goes well, that “you get lost in Juarez….and it’s Easter time too”. Actually, skip the Juarez bit, it’s a little dangerous these days I hear.

    Studdert xo (whichever means whichever)

  6. […] often writes about love: love and loss, love and relationship-sabotage, love and more relationship-sabotage, love and homecomings, love […]

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