I think it would make things a lot easier to explain
if I had been abused as a child.
But I was not abused.
Or, if I was, I have totally repressed the memory.
I had a pretty normal childhood.
Not perfect, but pretty good.
Except I got mono twice, which sucked.
My parents aren't even divorced.
Thus, it seems there is no easy
explanation for the fact that
I am 31 years old
and I have never been in love.
I do have a tendency toward depression and anxiety,
but, these days, who doesn't?
I have had exactly two nervous breakdowns.
I was never hospitalized, just medicated,
and I went to a lot of therapy.
I would wager that I have had more therapy
than the average 31-year-old American male.
And yet, no love.
There have been a few girls
who I have liked a lot.
But two of them
I never even dated,
And the other one,
I dated for like two months in high school.
Plus, she is married now,
and not to me.
I have been in two
sort of serious relationships.
Both girls were Asian.
I don't know if that is significant.
With both girls, it was the same.
They were both nice, attractive girls
with whom I had similar interests,
but I could never say "I love you" with any conviction.
Over time, I felt like they loved me
and, because I could not reciprocate,
I dumped them.
Which raises the question, the million dollar question:
Am I incapable of love?
Now, I have read The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis
and I know there are different types of love,
Some of which I have experienced:
There is brotherly love, friendship.
There is agape, God's love.
(stop snickering, atheist readers.
I believe in God's love. I just do.)
There is love for one's family.
I have experienced these loves
and, were it not for them,
I don't think I'd be alive.
And then there is eros:
romantic love, Valentine's love,
and that is the elusive one for me.
Oh, elusive eros.
Maybe I have experienced it,
and just don't know it.
That is possible. But, at best,
all I can claim is:
I may have been in love.
(But I'm pretty sure I haven't)
I have friends who tell me
they have been in love lots of times.
And I wonder: what do they mean by "love"?
How do they define "being in love"?
What is love?
Is it a feeling?
A state of being?
All of the above?
I just don't know.
When I think about the fact
that I have never been in love
I can get pretty bummed out.
It's a bummer.
But then, there's another part of me
that rejoices in my independence.
Because I am not in love, here's what I get to do:
1.) run an art gallery
2.) get a master's degree
3.) start a punk band
4.) start an art magazine
5.) run for city council
6.) write poems like this
7.) travel wherever the hell I want
8.) meet girls in bars
9.) host a weekly variety show
10.) stay out as late as I want
11.) spend a whole day drawing a comic
12.) spend my money on tattoos and records
So, I guess, while I wait for love,
I'll keep following my heart,
which has led me this far,
so it can't be completely defective.