The great loves of our lives change us.
Sometimes they make us into bigger and better people than we once were because their faith in our abilities is so unshakable we don’t question whether we can reach that next rung.
And sometimes they break our hearts and leave us wondering if there was really a time when we could feel the warmth of the sun upon our backs and laugh wholeheartedly.
The common mythology makes some of us long for love at first sight because it makes for a great story.
“The moment I saw her I knew I would never want to be with another man/woman.”
But not me, I never cared or needed that.
Maybe it is because the few great loves of my life were unsought and unexpected.
They caught me off guard and unaware and blew me away. They taught me things about life and myself I never could have otherwise learned.
The most important things I know about sex, love and true intimacy came from those experiences.
The knowledge that if you truly gave your heart to someone they could level you and make you feel like the lowliest worm was eye opening.
I never believed such a thing was possible. It had sounded like the hyperbolic claims of writers of cheap romance novels and weak people.
And then I was one of those…weak people.
Heartbroken, confused and lonely, unsure of what had happened but aware that something had.
Time passed and I figured out how to put my heart back together and learned to enjoy the sunlight and laughter.
I figured that I would take some time off from the whole love thing, I’d have fun and it wouldn’t be a big deal because I wasn’t in any rush.
Love would come again…one day, long from then and I’d deal with it when it happened.
But then it happened faster and sooner than expected, can’t say how much sooner ‘cuz I hadn’t mapped it out.
Hadn’t tried to really plan it out, just figured it would be a while.
Unsought and unexpected I was ensnared again.
“We were together. I forget the rest.”
― Walt Whitman
If you haven’t been there you might not understand it. You might not realize that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it together.
You might not understand the ache that comes from separation and how silly you both feel because you are old enough to know better because you have loved and been in love before.
Sometimes in the quiet moments you look at each other and ask in a soft voice if it sounds stupid to say it feels as magical as the first time, but better because you appreciate it more.
And this time, this even more surprising and more unexpected time you decide you are going to go for it, you are going to lay your soul completely bare and give them the chance to really wreck you.
Because you know from experience how magical it is and figure that you don’t get that many turns at bat so you need to live and love hard.
But it has to be now, not later, but now because life is fickle and shit happens so you don’t know, cannot know what might happen.
You share more poetry, that of those who are considered masters.
“Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you/ That you may be my poem/ I whisper with my lips close to your ear/ I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you.” ― Walt Whitman
As well as a few words by someone who never says aloud but secretly hopes that maybe one day he’ll be considered such as well.
So he’ll whisper the words and hope that a soft warm wind will send them into the ears of those who will best appreciate them and say he dared to fly higher than Icarus.
Dared to rise to the places where the sun might melt his wings because the hope and promise of past moments might be enough to make the fall that would come less painful.
And when that fall came, it took a while to dust himself off.
When he decided to stand again he figured it was best to remember the lessons and smile at the memories.
No reason to do more than that.
And though he was ready to just walk away his heart refused to accept what was fed to his ears.
Heart and head battled for a while until he came across an old story and remembered.
“I never should have kissed her. The memory of her damn lips and that electric spark….”
He walked off into the sunshine not knowing what he was going to do but knowing exactly what he wouldn’t.
He wouldn’t just forget and wouldn’t just pretend that nothing had happened.
You may not know when love starts but you always know when it is really over and when it is not.
Editor’s Note: A short while ago I decided to start a blog on Medium because I heard it can be an effective tool not just for writing, but for promoting our work.
Since I am an advocate of learning by doing I have tested it by putting out some original content there, that is how Love Between The Lines was created. I took 15 minutes and wrote this story, but used a different headline.
I am also using Medium as a place to test out headlines and small changes in my content so if you were to read posts over there you might recognize them from their time here but with the small changes I mentioned.
Not to mention that since I don’t want to be a digital sharecropper I make a point to include posts I have written elsewhere here.