I forgot the feeling of young love until I saw two teenagers walking down a suburban road in the ‘cold’ of a North Carolina December. A part of me wanted to scream out from the side of the UPS truck I was sitting in, “It’s all going to fail soon!” I would only be talking about my own past. They still have hope, right now.
I will admit that I do feel jaded. I know I approach any prospective partner with all guards up. I say Hello knowing that there will be fights that leave me driving 100 miles an hour in my car while screaming and drinking. I’m never prepared when it happens but I know it will happen.
This isn’t the case when you’re young. The fact that any cute girl finds you funny can cover up any insecurities and worries that you have. When she asks you to walk home with her after school your heart races and the clock immediately works at half speed. You tell your friends what you’re doing after school. They knew you were trying to talk to her. They are just as excited as you are. She might even become a part of your guys crew!
Now when I meet someone I find appealing no one gets to know. I can’t let them and myself down if I am open about who I may have a crush on. What if that person was faking interest? How could I get my hopes up like this again? Maybe there is still a chance my ex might still like me. The flood of negative thoughts surround a half formed attraction. It already feels like a phony.
We approach new love interest with precaution and baggage now. My heart doesn’t race for the right reasons anymore. My heart races in fear when I talk to someone. I don’t get as excited anymore. My authenticity is replaced with self-protection and anxiety. I may just be recovering, but it always feels like it will last forever.
The completely vulnerable feeling you get the first time your highschool crush holds your hand, kisses your cheek, or brushes shoulders with you while you walk doesn’t happen anymore. That sense of floating created when you first got to hold each other on your parents couch. A cold sweet rush of blood always fills your veins when you see them.
When I was young I had hope. I thought that the girls, now women, that I had fallen in love with would be with me forever. We would grow old together. I wanted to watch both of us become who we were going to be. I never took into account that it may mean we will never see each other face to face in bed again. I also wasn’t aware of my age and the implications that growing up really was.
When I saw those two teenagers walking, I remembered what young blind love felt like. Maybe only one flavor of heartbreak in their inventory. It made me miss my past. I still love all of the women I had been with. Each one brought a very unique perspective into my life. I wonder if they think about me. I wonder if our short lived relationships had the impact on them that they did on me.
It will always be different. Being in love. I don’t believe that the next love will carry the same importance as the last. The ropes that carries my heart gets thinner as time goes by. It can only hold a portion of the weight that it used to. Weathered and weakened by my apathy and misuse.
I am living in the past, constantly. I dream days when I would bike to my crushes house. Sneak onto her roof and go through the second story window to her room. Just to see her for 15 minutes and bike 45 minutes home again. The crisp air of fall covering my face. The street lights flashing by as I forget that I am alive. That I am human. I feel like a god. Nothing can hurt me.
It doesn’t happen like that anymore. I don’t get stuck in a room with a group of people very often. If I am, I am drinking alone in a packed bar. No one is choreographing our communication. I am not going to be placed with a random woman to test all of the draught lines at the pub around the block. We don’t get to collaborate our opinions on paper to show our mentors, our teachers. We are simply alone and I lack effort.
I should probably burn my old photo albums and journals that I re-read to feel the sensation of childhood connection. I know it’s damaging to look so much in the past. It’s a lot like a heavy night of drinking and feeling the repercussion of a hang over the next day. I never feel better trying to remember love at full volume.
Thank’s John Cusack. I’m living High Fidelity. Except I don’t get the girl back at the end and I am certainly not a music snob/DJ.