Imagination and Fiction in Love

Love isn’t easy to define. Sometimes it seems to contradict itself. Love is joy. Love is sorrow. Love is tender and sweet. Love is vicious and bitter. Love is an attraction that creates a distraction. Love is trust. Love is suspicious fear. Sometimes lust is confused with love. Lust is easily satisfied, love is not. Lovers are together, lovers are apart. Sometimes impossible circumstances prevent two people from staying together. Sometimes love is one-sided, not  mutual. Sometimes love dissolves, disappears, goes bland, mutually or for one partner/lover. Love is wonderful. Love is terrible. There is good love, there is bad love.

Some people find love easily, others, such as yours truly, don’t. I don’t fall in love easily, but when I do, I’m totally in it. I’ve been in love twice. I don’t know why I fell in love with the first. To think about him after all these years I wonder, what the hell? It’s because I was in love with him that I let him get away with so much shit. Fucking jerk. On the positive side, I am wiser.

For me, being in love is wanting to be with someone to the exclusion of everyone else. But that isn’t true for everybody. I’ve heard some people claim that it’s unnatural to be with just one person. I think it’s subjective and personal choice; different strokes, that’s all. There’s love, and then there is infatuation. I’ve been infatuated several times. I’m well aware when I’m infatuated. I don’t confuse it for love. Although, infatuation is a form of love, really. It’s a strong attraction. I’ve never been involved with someone with whom I was infatuated.

To an extent, love is an illusion, a product of the imagination. Perhaps a love relationship is an unspoken contract between people willing to invest in and commit to the illusion.

I’ll be back, you said,
My heart
is in your hands;
how can I live
without my heart?

I wasn’t there
when you returned.
I never said good-bye.
I never said it was over.

Love lives out there
wherever you are.

I didn’t want to argue.
I didn’t want to wonder.

Love lives out there
flying free like a bird,
following you
wherever you are.

You are there.
I am here.
Love is in the space
between us.

Your love
is the air I breathe.

I’m trying to write a poem. These words are the essence of what I am trying to express. I suppose you can call it a rough draft. I don’t know if I will ever find the words I am trying to reach. These words have no blood, no gut, therefore, no power. They are too airy. It is not a poem, it is an idea for a poem. Writing is a process. It’s trial and error. Writing is rewriting and rewriting until I find the words I need. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It’s like peeling the leaves off an artichoke to reach the heart. The lower end of the leaves are good, but the experience doesn’t compare to reaching and eating the heart. At least, that’s how it is for me. When I write a poem that satisfies me, I smile, I laugh, I feel a rush, a thrill, even a little fear.

The other night, I dreamed that a friend and lover from my past came up from behind me and embraced me. I was quite surprised. He appeared out of nowhere, out of the blue. He rushed up to me and held me tight, pressing his cheek against mine. He put his lips to my ear and said, “I love you,” in a passionate groan. I knew he missed me. Then he began to thrust up against me. But it was apparent that he was limp. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he apologized, agonized, near tears. I crossed my arms in front of me and grasped his arms. I squeezed my hands, holding firmly onto his arms. I said tenderly, “It’s all right.”

Why I dreamed this, I  have no idea. It’s been at least twenty-five years since I saw him last. I have fond memories. We were lovers for about four years, until I relocated. We didn’t date. We never went anywhere together. We simply enjoyed each others company. He had his house, I had mine. I would visit him at his house. He was divorced a year before I was. I’d been divorced a year when we first got together. We drank beer, smoked, conversed, laughed, sometimes watching Johnny Carson. Or we might just listen to music while we talked. He liked country and country rock. He might put on the Allman Brothers, or Little Feat. The music was always great to hear. After a while, he’d play maybe something like George Strait, dim the lights, sometimes he lit a couple candles. Then we’d get cozy. It was tender, sweet, romantic. When I was relocating to Berkeley, he said, “I don’t want you to go.” But we both knew our lives led us in different directions. I loved him, but I was not in love with him. It was mutual.

I have not been in love since my Shoshone man. It’s been ten years. I have not met anyone as amazing as he. How can I forget him when he was so amazing? He told me he was so happy to be in love with me and that I loved him, he went outside and howled at the full moon. Doesn’t matter whether or not that was true. He said he did, so in my mind he did. He told me he did, so it was in his imagination. That’s as good as actually doing it. But he was that kind of man; he would do something like that. He’d say, “There’s going to be a full moon tonight: our moon.” We were apart too often, too much. He said when he missed me, he looked at the moon to be near me. (This moon needs to be in the poem.) I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but circumstances made it impossible. I had to walk away. Still, I have fond memories.

There is always a bit of fiction in love, a bit of imagination. Too much of it will make a person a big fool. But then again, love is being a fool, love is foolish. That’s the magic and beauty of it, but also the danger.


About Poet Dressed In Black

Poet. Artist. Grammy of one, a granddaughter. Mom of three, son and two daughters, all grown. Individualist. Care-taker of Isabel, an agoraphobic, fear-aggressive, very nervous, delicate flower, Chihuahua mix.
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