Friday, December 5, 2008

Ask Clarissa

Okay. So since my last post that song by Pat Benatar, “Love is a Battlefield,” has been tumbling around in my head practically driving me crazy. I don’t even like that song or that kind of music. But a customer came in the coffee shop the other day, ordered a tall minty mocha and told me he’d read my blog post and asked me what I meant when I said love is a solid, not a space to be filled.

He said that’s like saying love is already there. And he told me he’s not in love with anyone right now and when he was it was like a complicated maze that made him feel like he was grappling for a handhold the whole time. A war zone. Now that he’s not in love he says he’d very much like to feel that there is no empty space to be filled. But he does feel like there is a void, even though he doesn’t want to.

I told him I didn’t think love was the war zone. That had to be something else. Desire. Lust. Greed. Control. Jealousy. Need. Those troubadours of conflict show up in the romantic relationship we call ‘being in love.’ Being in a space. Those are the things create the friction, the sense that there is chaos in the space.

The love I am talking about is not in the space. And yeah, it’s already there. When you climb out of that crazy place that empties and fills, thrills you one minute and haunts you the next, you bump right into it.

And then what? he said. You live happily ever after?

You live, I said.

He took his cup, smiled and told me he’d like to come back in five years and ask me how that little declaration still shapes up for me.

I told him I wouldn’t be in this coffee shop in five years.

He laughed. Gave me a big tip.

I don’t think he understood a word I said.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think selfishness sums up the conflict. We don't want to be alone, but we also don't want to give up what we declare is "my right".