In the kingdom of the heart, we are all of us fools. To fall in love is one thing; it happens all the time. But to think that we could swim in the dopamine river forever because we'd had a couple of shitty relationships before and at the wizened(more) age of 21 we "knew better"--that's another thing entirely.
Sometimes I look back on the ugly spirals we got ourselves into in that second year and I want to strangle both of us. He still wanted to fuck all the time, an animal impulse that I shared for four months; then every touch felt too purposeful, headed toward sex I was no longer in the mood for. He said I was denying his needs, mutilating his self-esteem. I said I wanted to feel wanted for something other than the comfort between my legs. A different time, staring at the table, he wondered aloud how you know when it's time to purge something toxic from your life. I burst into tears. But he was right. We were poisoning ourselves.
I didn't know how to describe my feelings, having never had much practice. He didn't know how to feel without gasping out every word he could think of to relate what it was like. He had no filter. I had two. And we were both mule-stubborn, steadfast in the belief that the other just didn't understand, just wasn't trying hard enough to communicate on our terms, because if you really want to it's as simple as doing it, right?
Years passed. I grew bolder and he more refined. But by the time we met near the middle, our poison had taken hold.
I'm still a fool, I know, but a wiser one than I was--grateful for both the lessons learned and their teacher.(less)