What is Love?

     …baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more

     Don Mach asked me last night what I thought love was. I didn’t realize until then that I had been struggling with that question for over 2, possibly 3 years, or even longer. It took Don, that amazing motherfucker, to get me to come back to it.

     I struggled with it all throughout my one and only real romantic relationship. The two competing themes were “capital L” Love for Real Romantic Love with one person, and “little L” love for friends, family, and community. I didn’t know if there was such a thing as Love, but I knew for sure that love existed. But if Love existed, then what was love? Some kind of less noble, less Loving love?

     I decided that Love was worth believing in, and if I was going to believe in it, I was damned if I wasn’t going to live it. When you are in Love with someone, I believed that we both held on to each other no matter what, that we worked to overcome everything, every emotion, every circumstance, even every thought that would keep us apart. When things didn’t work out, it became a matter of how could I change? What could I do? What part of me or my personality is wrong? I committed, completely, to my girl. Or so I told myself.

     I believed in Love until I could believe no longer. I committed myself to Love too soon, too idealistically. After fighting with my partner and twisting my very soul for too long, I snapped. The religious fanatic broke, his faith now smoke drifting in the air, the only thing left in the aftermath of an explosion.

     Picking up the pieces of my life, I found a little love here and there, pieces spattered on the walls, a little at the bottoms of deep wells, glinting like gold. A door held open, a friend calling just to call, a blanket placed around shoulders rising and falling with reassuring rhythm while half lidded eyes blink themselves to sleep.

     Something I could believe in. Because I saw it every day.

     I found love. It wasn’t hard. It was seeing it that was difficult. I found it in the parks, with old men playing chess and feeding pigeons. I found it in a brother’s over protective watch over his younger sister. I found it meeting up with friends and sharing jokes, sharing food, sharing words. I saw it everywhere. I felt it when I breathed in. I heard it playing on the radio. The whole fucking world ran on love, and that’s just the way I would have it run.

     “What are your thoughts on love?” Don asked me. I thought about it for a while before I could answer. We finished eating our fast food and sat for a while before I could formulate an answer.

     Love, for me, is you reading this and knowing that I believe every word. Love is you closing this, going back to facebook and commenting on your crush’s status. Love is the sun coming up. Love is driving a friend a few blocks because he’s lazy and you both know it. Love is going running with people in the morning when everyone else is asleep or at night when everyone else is asleep. Love is finding a brother in mind and spirit that you never expected. Love is dancing in class. Love is singing in the streets. Love is letting you know that I love you. Love is listening.

     In a sentence, for me and I think for everyone, love is…

     …well, Don knows my answer. But I’m not happy with it. When it’s in a sentence, it’s just words strung together. I tried several times while writing this, but I just can’t bring myself to just say it. I’m not happy merely writing it here for you to read. I want to live it.

     But more and more importantly than that, I want you to live it with me. So ask me sometime. I’d be glad to hear your thoughts, and in the meantime we’ll keep dancing this crazy dance called Life.


  • Loved your post. =)

  • Sai jie

    Love is not letting anything get you down cause I'm on my way to you ;P

  • Excellent post.

    Sorry you had so much trouble with capital-L Love. I've never known all the details there, but I know it was hard.

    And by the way, I've never really believed the special-sounding, capital-L Love was all that different from the love we see every day. Seems like a social convention, really. That's not to say that the love between couples is unreal; far from it. It's just to say that we ought to do a better job of recognizing all the various forms of love, and how they're all basically reflections of the same thing.

    love is…

    well, we don't really need to put it into words. =)

  • Karlyn

    Hey Brian, let’s have this conversation some time. For real.