April 1998

Life so far

Well, it's been a month since I met Aaron, and the world hasn't come crashing down on us yet. I guess it has in subtle ways...the Vancouver fiasco, his parents being overly-emotional, my father's apathy...but other than that, I must admit that things have progressed rather smoothly. It feels strange to analyze it like this...something tells me that love is qualitatively beyond journalism. But I've always been the analytical one, so it only seems natural to transcribe the thoughts and emotions which have chased each other around the perimeter of my logic for a month.

Love is a new and frightening experience for me...I've had to put away childish things, and stare this reflection of mine straight in the face. I'm learning, slowly, that the full sum of my identity, neuroses and all, is not shameful. It doesn't deserve to be hidden beneath a polished, decorous mask. It doesn't have to sleep in a dark aperture somewhere, fed intermittently by anger and desperation. Aaron is teaching me, quite innocently, to love myself.

I keep wanting to say that the world has changed since I met him, but really, it's me. Jesse has suffered a sea-change, and the end result is a work in progress. It isn't merely the rose-colored glasses of new love. That cheapens it. I've seen more than one person blinded by romance, oblivious to the glaring personality flaws of their significant other. I'm not oblivious to anything. Every moment that I'm with Aaron, I silently record his behavior. The smallest movement, the most insignificant word...I crave the paltry, the banal.

It's as if from the instant we met, I was tossed into a cathedral the size of Chartres whose floor lay covered with jigsaw puzzle pieces. I wander quite leisurely through the vaulted rooms, picking up a piece here, examining it, then setting it down again. Sometimes I have to transplant one that's been left in the wrong room. But with patience I never knew I possessed, I make small connections, small revelations. The picture grows clearer, and maybe I'll never fit every piece together, but whatever the outcome, it will be beautiful, because it will be him.

Love is such a multifaceted creature. A stone that glitters the more you touch it, the closer you look at it, until you're looking so deep into yourself that you've lost all sense of an extrinsic world. As Rilke observed, the deepest point of ourselves is not outside. It lies within, past the graveyard of our intentions, within the closely guarded groves of our childhood. Man and boy walk hand-in-hand beneath those sun-dappled trees, content with each other, eager to admit a third soul to their benign monarchy. That's the true crux of it...total and effortful admittance of another. A third interloper where two once tread. It's difficult not to see it as a violation...but that much is true of several experiences. The acceptance of another soul, tempered by love, is no more an invasion than the key which fits perfectly into the lock. The hand which fits perfectly into another. I believe that there must be a design to everything...even if we have to stitch it ourselves.

Is it over-analytical to examine what drew me to Aaron in the first place? Perhaps. But it reminds me of how precious he is, and since I miss him at the moment, I'll just say that it's more cathartic than indulgent. It's taken me a great deal of personal exploration (and reconciliation) to finally admit that I am a sensitive, emotional person who hides his true nature through cold analysis, faulty logic, and often bitter sarcasm. It isn't vogue to be sensitive nowadays. The Age of Aquarius has passed, the child within has packed his bags, and it's no longer cool to cry.

We're too busy kneeling at the altar of psychology to make any real, spiritual headway in our lives. We inhale our Prozac and depend upon our spinal cords to get us through the day. It's much easier to put on an icy face and blend in with the automatons than to spill our guts and face excommunication. This I've learned, painfully: the only way to keep from getting hurt is to pretend that you can't be hurt.

But now I'm rambling. What drew me to Aaron in the first place was his stability. My moods have always been so intemperate. I try to hold on to antithetical ideas, but all it grants me is an existential headache. No real insight. My mind seems always to be in flux. I leap from concept to concept, discarding one philosophy in favor of another, maybe all in the course of a few hours. All of my ideas are glorified postulates, never attaining anything close to concrete existence.

If anything, Aaron is the exact opposite. I think that every decision he has ever made or will make in the duration of his life has been recorded on some grand checklist somewhere, hidden in a place whose location is shrouded in secrecy. He keeps me grounded. My insensate little mind bobs high up in the clouds, but the gravity of him, the surety of what he knows and what he feels, sets me down gently on the earth. He reminds me of the little things, like space and time. He looks at me sternly from time to time, and any irrational idea I might have had conveniently dissolves.

He has the most startling brown eyes. They glow mildly as he launches into a serious explanation of something. They glitter like a sun-struck vein of gold when he's happy. And in those rare moments when he attains a state of absolute contentment, looking into those eyes is like slipping soundlessly into the heart of heaven. He counters my emotional tantrums with sound logic. He combats my irrationality with calm, sane words, like I love you, and no dear, that's flammable. He may dream like an expert, but he lives in a world of solid shapes and Euclidean geometry. Of course, if he changes a shape here, bends a line there, conquers the impossible and defines the indefinable...that's all within reason. Aaron and I live in opposite sides of the mirror, believing both of our worlds to be irreconcilable to each other. But through us, somehow, they merge...not to a solid line, but rather a perfect circle...infinity.

So, we're happy. No...content. And I get the feeling that we will be, until I die, or he dies, or a rogue comet wipes out the earth. Just remember this: true love can and will occur, if you admit it freely into your life, and make the effort to exhume it from the layers of bullshit that society drowns you in. As the movie LA Story puts it: "There's someone out there for everyone, even if you need a pickax, compass, and night-goggles to find them."

Jes, lread@dowco.com

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