I’ve been wondering what love is lately; what it would sound like or feel like or look like should I wish to draw a picture of it to keep in my pocket to take out on the days where loneliness and emptiness grab at my ankles, tripping me as I reach towards something lovely.
My knees and heart are bruised in my search for love. Though I suppose I should confess – I’ve never been in love…at least I don’t think I’ve been in love, and I have a friend who often (OFTEN) says, “When you know you know, and when you don’t know you still know” and since he’s rather brilliant, he tends to be right more often than I’d admit.
But, really, if I can’t look back, surrounded by memories and feelings and the smiles he shared with me when he thought they meant nothing, and simply know to my bones that that was love, then I’m inclined to guess it wasn’t. So I’m left with empty hands and eyes full of questions and lips that long for a kiss that’s been waiting for years or maybe just long enough for me to cross the room to him.
I thought I knew what love looked like. A few years ago, or even a few months ago, if you had asked me “What does love look like?” I would have said love was tall; well, taller than me. You know the type: tall, dark, and handsome. That’s what I thought love looked like.
I thought love was a person, someone to fill an emptiness inside me, but I don’t think that’s right. Because love is more than someone you wait for or dream about. Love isn’t something outside of ourselves. Maybe love is in the little moments. Maybe love is in the things we do and the things we say, even when we don’t realize it. Maybe love races across our skin, aching to be shared with those around us, the ones who mean the most to us. Maybe love is more than romance.
Maybe I already know what love looks like.
Maybe love is buying Diet Coke even though Pepsi products are on sale because that’s your wife’s favorite.
Maybe love is in the “But how are you really?” text that your mom sends you on the worst day of your week.
Maybe love is the spaces in between that you can fill with your tears and know someone will be there to dry them or share them or catch them and keep them so you can laugh about them later.
Maybe love is the hug that lasts just a few seconds too long, your soul sighing at just how perfectly your arms fit around his body, your curves molding around his strength, his chin resting on your shoulder.
Maybe love is calling your girlfriend five times a day just to hear the smile in her laugh and the love in the silence.
Maybe love is the smile of a stranger or giving the man on the corner the last of your cash because he has a heart and a stomach and a story and no one should ever be left to feel empty.
Maybe love is sleepless nights filled with baby cries creating the worst and most beautiful soundtrack – the musical harmony of two souls made into one flesh.
Maybe love is looking in the mirror and smiling at your reflection and whispering “I am beautiful” even though your hair won’t curl, your eyeliner is smudged, there is a spot on your chin, and you’re perhaps a bit curvier today than last week. But you whisper the words and you finally mean them because you see it in the pink of your cheeks and the shine of your eyes and the point of your chin and the smirk in your smile.
Maybe love is saying “I am beautiful” and believing it.
Maybe love is the smell of a used book, pages torn and wrinkled and faded, but not too old for the words to be lost as you pour over them and let them carve themselves on your soul. Or maybe love is a fresh notebook of blank pages, the possibilities endless and waiting for you to scrawl your heart on them.
Maybe love is letting go: moving on without her or leaving him behind. Maybe love has different plans for us.
Maybe love is the look she gives you when she wakes up, her eyes crowded with sleep and dreams before she runs her fingers through your hair, tickling and possessing and guiding your mouth to hers as she smiles against your lips and says “Where’s the coffee, love?”
Maybe love is when he takes your hand at the end of the aisle, your dress white and his shoes shining like the center of his eyes, and as you feel his fingers lace through your own, tying you together, you know—dear God, finally know—you are home.
Maybe love is a postcard in the mail, a cup of coffee, or the Target clearance section.
Maybe love is watching every scifi show on Netflix with him because he asked and bought you chocolate and the pure joy on his face while he holds you close and asks “Did you see that?!” is worth absolutely everything.
Maybe love is your dad telling you it’s a mistake, because somehow he knows the heartache you’ll face when you say yes instead of no, and he wants with his entire heart to spare you that pain, not to control you.
Maybe love is telling her the passlock code for your iphone or telling him your Twitter password.
Maybe love is being just friends, because you know that nothing can or ever will make that connection, that unexplainable bond you two have more special or beautiful or rare, and it’s only fair that someone else gets to share that person with you.
Maybe love is the sun kissing your pale cheeks after months of rain that fell like tears from your soul.
Maybe love is the sound of the crashing waves or sand shifting beneath your feet as you walk the beach and leave footprints that remind you that you are here and you are alive and there is no one who could walk those steps in the way you did.
Maybe love is not taking part in no shave November.
Maybe love is leaving her post-it notes with sweet nothings and seductive promises.
Maybe love is keeping secrets until he’s hurting or she’s drowning and you know it’s time, so you give them your strength and your arms and your legs to hold them up until they are ready to walk on their own.
Maybe love is fighting even when you don’t want to, because what you have is too important to be tossed aside over the wrong words said at the wrong time.
Maybe love is forgiving before they ask for it.
Maybe love is the text you send him just to say hi and make sure he’s alive and breathing, because the idea that he’s not in the world doesn’t make sense.
Maybe love is buying chocolate and a magazine when she gets dumped, because the world is cruel and some guys lie and love isn’t always forever.
Maybe love is messy and hard work and leaves you breathless. Maybe love isn’t anything you imagined, but everything you needed. Maybe love is in everything – in the wind and the words and the sound of laughter or the curve of a smile.
Maybe love is something you breathe into your lungs and hold it within you for just a little while before you slowly release it, giving it back to the world around you.
Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter >> @cassiclerget.
I’m pretty entertaining.