“But how? How the fuck do you know?”
“You just know.”
I laughed. I didn’t believe her. I couldn’t believe her. It sounded like bullshit to me. Maybe it was a mother’s way of protecting her youngest from the wild and harsh realities of life. I smiled and said, “OK, mom.” But in reality, I made a vow to stay the man who could only love himself.
I didn’t believe in love. I thought it was invented by Hollywood and authors of cheesy romance novels. I looked around and saw no love. No love in the heart of the city. Love was perfect for the movies because sunshine and rainbows were left up to the director, but life was nothing like the shit I saw on TV.
My friend told me he was in love. Then I watched him stick his tongue in another girl’s mouth. Was that love? I don’t know. I don’t know.
My cousin told me she was in love. Then she grew sick with stress and worry and tears and depression. Was that love? I don’t know. I don’t know.
My brother told me he was in love. Then he was with a new girl the week after. Was that love? I don’t know. I don’t know.
My family’s friend said he loved his daughter. Then he walked out on her and never came back. Was that love? I don’t know. I don’t know.
My cousin’s crew told me they loved him. Then they set him up and killed him. Was that love? I don’t know. I don’t know.
Every time I saw love, I saw destruction and turmoil. I saw no love. I saw no sunshine and rainbows. I couldn’t muster up sunshine and rainbows to save my life. I tried and I failed…over and over again…so I shut the window of love and gave up all hope.
The only love I kept alive was love for family. Nothing else and nobody else mattered.
I wish I could sit here and tell you that I felt like a disconnected robot and life sucked without love because that would be the right and feel good thing to say, but that would be a lie. Life was great. I had the time of my life.
I met a lot of great girls. We balled at malls and we laughed a lot, but I kept the blinds shut to the window of my soul throughout it all.
“I love you, but I’m not in love with you. I’m sorry.” I would say when they would ask the dreaded question that makes a man’s balls shrivel up with fear…
The question being, “So what are we?”
My answer acted as a dagger. It injured and bruised the innocent girls and left them feeling betrayed and bloody.
“You’re such a fucking _________ (asshole, douche bag, jerk, prick etc.).”
You fill in the blanks. I heard it all. They loved me and I made them cry.
To them, it felt like the end of the world. To me, it felt like the end of the short story we wrote together.
I didn’t mean to hurt them but I felt no love. I couldn’t look them in the eye and lie and say, “I love you too.”
Because that would be the wrong thing to do.
I was happy as fuck with my life and had no room for love. Mostly because I saw what love did to people and I hated it.
When everyone around me was trying to find love, I was trying to find freedom. I was trying to capture that little something in other areas of my life.
I started businesses, took trips to foreign lands, partied with the best of them, and drank liquor with the rest of them. I made money. I lost money. I made friends. I lost friends. I drove fancy cars. I totaled fancy cars.
I had incredible highs and some lows, but I had fun throughout it all. It was a blast.
I lived and smiled and laughed every minute of every day.
But no matter how bright the sun shined, a hint of darkness remained in the depths of my soul. My mom could tell and she would inquire, but I would dismiss it. It was frustrating and aggravating, but I put a blanket over those feelings and kept on laughing and living.
I continued meeting girls and went on dates…with no intentions of ever surrendering to love. Some were fun. Others sucked. But even the ones that were fun and showed promise were boring. I couldn’t relate to the person across the table. I tried, but I couldn’t. I would always zone out and drift away.
“I had a great time.” The girls would say, smiling from ear to ear.
“Me too. I’ll call you.” I would reply. I didn’t have a great time. I never called. They called. I didn’t pick up. They texted. I didn’t reply. I ran into one of my dates at the grocery store, I ditched my shopping cart and busted a sharp left…and that, my friend, is how I ended up in the tampon aisle ha.
Asshole. I know. But I felt no connection. I felt only thrills for life, thrills to conquer the world.
So that’s what I did…with no intentions of slowing down.
I kept on living and laughing and singing along to the king of living with no love, John Mayer.
“I was made to believe I could never love somebody…made a vow, to stay the man, who could only love himself.”
John Mayer spoke to my soul…and then one day…he didn’t.
His words lost meaning. I couldn’t relate anymore.
Because I met her. And she was perfect. Or perfectly imperfect. She had as many hang ups as the rest of us, but it didn’t matter.
Because even though the clouds were gray and rain was falling out of the sky that warm summer day, I saw sunshine and rainbows for the first time in my life.
And then I gripped her hand.
She saw me smile and she smiled too.
And then I knew.
Was it love? I don’t know. I don’t know.
But it had to be.
Because it felt like magic to me.