(Family warning) Once a boy told me he loved me after a month and I knew he was full of shit…

…but I blew him anyway. There was not enough scalding water in the world to wash him away from my body.
(Family warning over) 

Love IS the old couple in the Wegmans parking lot walking up to their early ’90s Ford sedan; the woman saying “I thought we were taking the Jaguar today?” and giggling at the absurdity of such a thought. Love is NOT the man perusing flowers inside, checking the $15 price tag of pink lilies and saying “These are way too expensive. I saw cheaper ones at Walmart.” Do you know when people love you? That instant when a switch it flicked? When a gesture isn’t full of infatuation, but meat – the insides, the guts? I’ve always known. And I’ve always known when I loved more than they loved – if that even matters.

I’ve been through obsession, honeymoon periods. I’ve been through hunger and marks scratched into my skin. I’ve been through comfort, boredom, jolts, breaks, hot-rod irons, sweat. Love. I’ve had a whole lifetime with one person and it’s only been 9.3561 years, but that’s my youth, early adulthood. Think about how much you changed in that time – think back 5 years: do you recognize yourself? And somehow through all of our personal changes we’ve managed to grow together and separate. How did I know sitting next to him in a movie theater all those years ago that I only wanted to share my skittles with him? How did I know that kicking his ass in pool would be the most gratifying Friday nights of my college years? Sometimes you wander. I seem to move every four years because I get antsy, but I never wandered too far from him. Love is bat-shit crazy, but only because people are bat-shit crazy. It’s not love’s fault.

I have my Valentine’s night dinner in the fridge at work and I hope it doesn’t absorb the old yogurt, creamer, Chinese food. I need to move my car. I need to tell my muses exactly what I think of them today: That we meet the people we need to meet in our lives and they change us into the best of ourselves. I don’t know where I’d be without them – meeker, weaker. They make me safe and brave and full.

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