one last thing before i go-jonathan tropper

“And beneath the chaos of the moment, Denise becomes aware of a painful truth about herself: she is never as deeply in love with a man as she is in the moment he leaves her.” (211)

crushes get no love, i think, because they get all the love. the imaginary, the unrequited, the secret-all of the one-sided romances are deemed frivolous and unworthy of status, and i think that is wrong.

a crush is an opportunity to learn (and relearn or unlearn) things about yourself without the messy involvement of another. it is also an opportunity to romanticize all the things that make your heart flutter without any of the inconvenient realities of their human-ness (or their patriarchal leanings if you’re in love with a sparkly vampire).

sometimes, a crush just is so dang crisp in that white shirt and patterned fitted. (sigh).

but lately, a crush is a sign for me-yield.

i know that if i’m feeling a way, there’s probably something amiss. this is a reminder of what i’ve committed to working on-getting better at recognizing the signs and detouring. because these things come in equal and opposite pairs, there’s also the other side of the spectrum-someone who genuinely seems to care about me and listen to me, but i can’t really see it for (though taking me out for a pre-birthday dinner and printing out a picture of the artist who’s drawing the angry thumb all over town is pretty, pretty sweet) and i am also committing not to just go with it because it’s what i “should” do as well.

an artist from my past whose work i’ve always admired who happens to stroll into the store (fate!) who is surrounded by 9s (destiny!) who happens to be leaving town for an indeterminate amount of time? perfect! of course i am moved by this-it’s been my m.o. forever.

the thing about this book is that early on, the protagonist says this:

“He loves her as much as any man can love a woman he’s never spoken to, which is significantly more than you’d think.” (12)

and i liked it because it could mean a) he loves her more than you’d think, and b) falling in love at first sight happens more often that you’d think.

i’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the professor, my longest-term invisible man, for questioning him and the love he has declared for me-as we approach a decade of never having met, but of course it’s possible-i’m on the other side of it all the time.

and maybe love doesn’t need to happen with anyone. maybe that’s a place of extreme power to be able to drum up all the feelings and motivations of love completely on one’s own. all we need from each other is a template.

because the thing about being in unrequited relationships is that we learn how not to leave a city or a job in the way that we have been left.

but like duolingo, it doesn’t help as much with learning how to leave people with that same grace.

like i always say about money, it’s not everything, but it’s not nothing.

i stand for crushes forever, and appreciate them as reminders of work to do.

just like eczema.

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