The Bitter End  

rm_connor696 61M
944 posts
11/28/2005 7:50 pm

Last Read:
7/4/2006 3:15 pm

The Bitter End

Like the yards binding sail to ship, the language of love can fray from overuse. Maybe any sort of language can suffer this fate, losing its punch, its oomph, its charge, after having been repeated and expanded and repeated and expanded and repeated . . . Pynchon seems to make precisely this claim, at any rate, in his story "Entropy"; after a while, meaning just fizzles ("This is the way the world ends / not with a bang but a whimper").

But this danger seems particularly inescapable with respect to the semiprivate languages created by lovers, those intimate meanings they create in their folies a deux. How many times can we fall in love before we are left speechless, having used up all the special phrases in our previous relationships? The first time I kinda sorta lived with a woman, she used to announce her readiness for sleep by saying, "Sweet dreams, babe"--a trite enough line, I suppose, but it became special because she made it so. It acquired a specificity and, because of that, a surfeit of meaning beyond the formulaic.

But here's the thing. When that relationship died and a new one came along, I found that I wanted to use the phrase yet could not do so comfortably. The new affair required new words. And of course they were found. But as life rolls on and lovers come and go, I discover that the new phrases grow increasingly difficult to locate and, worse yet, rather flat when I do.

Years ago a woman with whom I was traveling picked up a hitch-hiker. It pretty soon became clear that he was quite mad--classically schizophrenic, in fact--but he nevertheless offered up food for thought. We asked him where he was headed, and he answered "Mexico"; "I'm running out of words in English," he explained.

But what nation will take me in if I can no longer speak the language of love? Where will I find shelter if even my laughter and my tears fade to barely perceptible gestures too meek to name the still-boiling passions that threaten to dissipate in silence?

And in the end, of course, silence always has the last word.

rm_saintlianna 46F
15466 posts
11/28/2005 8:05 pm

Isnt that the truth.

sexyeyes375 48F

11/28/2005 8:22 pm

I guess the rather trite thing to say is: when you find the right one, the words will have new meaning. Or perhaps you will have more feeling behind them? My thought is that your eyes, your touch and the expression in your voice say more than the actual words you choose. The English language has so many duplicate words; it is ridiculous. Silence will have the last word.. and it will be the most memorable.

Great post

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