Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,
Yohannon
yohannon

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Love is a Virus

Laurie Anderson once famously pointed out that "Language is a virus". I found the idea that something could grow and spread without being "alive" in the core way that we now expect a fascinating concept. I would definitely add love to that list.

There are way too many parallels to ignore... that whole spreading, consuming, burning, hurting, fever, and so many other adjectives that seem appropriate to an illness. You can even "fall ill".

I wonder if there's a way to, as Jack put it in "The Witches of Eastwick", "build up our immune systems." I believe I can attest to the fact that, as many times as my heart has been broken over the years, that it may be damn near impossible.

I think that's why so many relationships end in such an explosive fashion. The only recourse is to become so scarred and battle hardened that the arrows finally just bounce off.

However, those battles are a lie. We've developed into such a sick culture that the only alternative we believe possible is a salted earth, where nothing can re-grow ever again. And somehow, even when that has happened, and I'm stumbling about in a post apocalyptic haze, wondering what the license plate number on the nuke hat just hit me was, I look down and see a flower growing, with a tree frog clinging to it. Life will find a way and defy all logic, and even science itself.

Viral insanity making us all emotional mad bombers, gleefully tossing grenades at each other in some surreal attempt to pretend we really hate each other, or that it could never work, or burning those bridges with flamethrowers...

Why can't we just learn to love like farmers? Letting it grow in multiple fields, each providing an environment to help the other fields grow better, complements to each other. Why can't we accept that sometimes we have to let a field go fallow so that the next crop is stronger than ever?

The hardest part about this is how hard it is to express this pain in a larger context. When you've worked to integrate someone into your life and they've met your friends, gone to all of the work events, and met your children... and then they're just gone. You're still a couple, but there's the same sense of aching longing, these stupid repetitive tears -- how many times can you grieve a loss? How to you explain that loss to the "mundanes", even the ones who have accepted that you have an unusual view on life?

I know there are many people who will nod their heads sagely at the situation. Good friends who tried to warn me, especially after last February when, despite all the signs, her sudden shift away from me and Roni was still a huge shock. In many ways I feel like I did everything I could, and in the end it meant nothing. And the irony is it likely contributed to losing someone else in my life. Even worse was the widening effect it has on my life, especially over the last few years when it got so serious. I know for a fact that I didn't push for some relationships because I thought I already had something I dearly wanted to protect, that I saw as the most important thing in my life after my daughter.

That's another thing that makes this so hard... being able to communicate things like that to her was never the problem. But one of the early warning signs was how she would downplay those things. The way she would be dismissive of gestures that most people would see as "big steps" in a relationship, and yet so obviously be touched by it. Hell, the biggest red flag of all, the fact that we never could seem to pull off dinner with Erika's mom... that's right, we both WANTED to meet the parents. While I could understand why she would be less than enthused about us meeting her dad (who is having struggles with drinking), her mom is a great person. I suspect that would have given me an ally in a situation that could be as much about the depression than anything truly fatal to the relationship.

At the very least it would give me a way to push for Erika to take care of herself. If she would just take something for the depression, even if it meant that she saw the same issues, at least we could all talk them out, and somehow remain as friends. Yes, there's a little greedy ass voice inside of me that would like to think that I could still have my relationship with her, but if I'm really causing her pain just by being who I am, I don't think it would last very long before she truly hated me.

It's the "if" that kills me. I don't want to be the noble romantic falling on his sword to protect his lady love only to find that it was the wrong move. The paralysis of indecision written as a spinning Yohannon.

I suppose the worst of my frustration was taking my time this time. Trying to let things happen. But then, there's always that eager, impatient edge that people misconstrue as manipulation, especially if I try to keep my stupid mouth shut.

But then none of this matters. Right now, it simply is. And I can either act like I monogamous early 21st century American make and make with the mass recriminations and the nuclear option, or I can look to hope, faith, and a future where the field blooms and I can hear the frog sing every night.

Am I strong enough for the latter? Or weak enough to believe it?
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