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The death of love
The death of love
I had a moment a few weeks ago, the first moment when I was, like, "I need to write about this in that stupid blog I keep meaning to update". The moment's stuck with me for a while now, and I wanted to talk about it, to get it off of my chest.
I've been in love before. At my age, that's not an unusual thing-- I'm 32, I like to think I know what love is, and that I'd know if I'd been there. Near as I can figure, I've been in love three times. Once is my wife. Duh. Despite my presence here, and what several people have told me about that, I am in love with my wife. The second (obviously not in chronological order) is a woman who I consider to be my best, most valued friend, apart from my wife. And the third? Well, friends, that's what we're here about tonight.
I sat in the pew last month, watching my friend M get married. We only talk about once every few months, just to catch up. I mean, we're close, we talk about more than just the weather and the local news, but we just can't seem to find the time to talk anymore, you know?
Ours was a friendship begun fast, and one that had a lot of potential for more, had it come around at the right time. But alas, as things go, she had just gotten out of a tough relationship at the time, and she wasn't ready. Plus, as an extra added bonus, I got the "I value our friendship too much..." speech that saw heavy rotation in my early 20's. So we parted ways, she went to Michigan, I went to Pittsburgh, and the next phase of our friendship began. The phase I'm referencing in the title.
About two years ago, M came down to Georgia to see me. We hadn't seen each other in a long time, she needed some time to herself, so she thought a long road trip might be just what the doctor ordered. I was going through a pretty rough patch with my wife, and there was discussion of her not coming down after all, but she came anyway. Just to hang for a few days, then go home. We spent a really long time talking that weekend. It was a great thing for me, because I got to talk about a lot of the things that were going on, and it helped to get my head on a little straighter. But one of the things we talked about was about how my feelings for her had changed.
I had a lot of passion for her when we met. She's beautiful, smart, exciting, kind, and funny. I fell hard, what can I say? But the thing that M has taught me in the last 11 years is that passion is a living thing. And like all living things, passion has to be fed and nurtured and cared for, if it is to survive. And when I looked at her that day when she came to see me and said, "you know, I have no problem hearing about you and your boyfriend because I don't think I have those feelings for you anymore", I meant it. My passion for her was not allowed to survive, and it died, much like my poor Roma tomatoes will, out in the brutal Georgia summer.
But then came last month. I looked at her as she appeared in the doorway of the church, ready to walk down the aisle. She caught my eye, and she smiled. So did I, but my smile was more complex. See, as I stood there and smiled at her, a very small part of me that I didn't even know existed was still back in 1994, sitting out on a roof overlooking a lake under a night so full of stars. And it wept. It wept for the death of love.