What we talk about when we talk about love… and stealing Ray Carver’s line

I sat in the living room this morning with a crying roommate.

His whole body shaking with it, this sadness, this heartbreak and I listened, since it was all that was called for. No advice needed to be dispensed, no “there, there”, none of that.

I sat and remembered being in that same exact spot last year. That moment of realization that you had bought into a dream that wasn’t real. All “wha-whaaaa”, pop and fizzle and when everything starts to settle, all that’s left is you dissecting in your brain what is real and what you made up in your head.

The mating life of human beings made complicated by abstract feelings of love and emotion.

I remember one late night, curled up on the opposite end of the couch as J. explained to me the theory of natural selection, like I was an idiot.

Is this what we talk about when we talk about love? As my brain dug through his words, so specific and mathematical, all research, all technical and scholarly, looking for something that spoke to me on a much deeper level.

But none of it did. Somethings you just can’t dumb down to mere words.

And now I sit at the kitchen table feeling tears well up, for no real reason other then that I am sad for this process we go through, whether you see the heartbreak coming or not, it hurts just the same. My roommate is sitting on the edge of the coffee table knee deep in “Resident Evil”. He’s been doing laundry since 7:30 AM. He’s scrubbed the bathtub clean and rearranged the furniture in his room. It’s not even noon and he’s burying it in the business of everyday life. He’s breaking it down into smaller chunks to process. Scrub, scrub, cry, cry, kill, kill, wash, wash, cry, cry. I like to vomit sadness in one all encompassing wail. I do nothing but sob until it is all gone, all reserves empty, then I wash my face, eat a popsicle and make my way into the waking world because there will always be something outside that reminds me I’m not the only person in the universe to feel this way…and if these people can figure their way out of it, so can I.

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