Conversing with a dear friend. Talking about the convoluted ways in which some people love (or don’t). Friend says:
“Charlie, aren’t you the one with the cosmology that’s all about how words are just symbols of symbols and don’t have definite meaning? You’ve got the whole ‘everyone speaks a language completely unique to them’ and how we are all, always in the process of translating the emotions underneath into something we hope to make another person understand?”
Yes. Yes. I am. I do believe that.
“Well, see, anyone can say ‘I love you.’ But it doesn’t really mean anything. Here’s what love means to me, and it’s not about when people say it, but when they live it. When they live it. When they are there with me, for me, who I am, not just when it’s easy, but when there’s no benefit in it, when loving me is not convenient, when honoring me costs something and I don’t have to ask. It’s just a fact. And Charlie, a person’s lucky if they’re loved like that maybe three or four times in a life.”
“Well, I’m right because you get what I’m saying behind these words. Other people would hear them and think I’m nuts or wrong or . . . whatever. But, here’s the thing, people like you and me, we somehow believed that EVERY love should be that kind of love, and when it isn’t, we feel like we’ve done something wrong, fallen short, somehow sinned. And here’s what I wish for you, because I can see you are killing yourself a little every day with this shit, is that you accept that some people are just fuck-heads. You don’t have to hate them, because I know that’s not your thing, but you also don’t have to think it’s your job to save it or fix it or somehow do something different – be something different – to make everyone love you. What I wish for you is that you forgive yourself for that thing at which you think you’ve failed, that Catholic thing that somehow got tattooed on your soul and you can’t get rid of – I want you to forgive yourself for not being able to make everyone love you that way, or love everyone that way yourself. Because the shit you’re carrying doesn’t even belong to you and it is crushing you and I’m afraid you’re never going to recover from the weight.”
[And, of course, I was crying.]
I have good friends. Who love me.