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Ryan Pritchard

December 1998

Greetings to all of you who have decided to peruse my article. This being my first article for Oasis, I would ask that you not expect too much. If I start to bore you, go right ahead and stop reading. I won't be insulted, really.

I guess a brief intro to myself would be in order: I am a 19 year old gay male living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (the best damn country in the world, and we even have the U.N. to tell us so!). I am currently completing my final year of high school at the wonderful Jarvis Collegiate Institute, which just happens to be one block west of the gay village in Toronto. Excellent location, if I do say so myself. Anyhoo, enough specifics about me. Now on to the topic of my article this month: love and all the hell that comes with it.

(Oh, I guess I should point out one more thing: I was dumped two days ago, so if I sound like a bitter old queen throughout the article, that would explain it.)

When one is presented with the word "love", one tends to conjure up thoughts of couples holding hands and staring at each other with "that look"; of soft, sweet kisses that send one another into heavenly bliss; of pure joy and unadulterated happiness. All wonderful things, no?

I'll admit that those thoughts cross my mind when I think of love, but I also have a lot of negative thoughts crop up: lying in an empty bed, crying yourself to sleep after your heart has been broken yet again; of your love given to a person and then abused, betrayed by the receiver; depression and loneliness. All horrible things, no?

I think we do a person a major disservice by not having them associate love with the good AND the bad from an early age. When we feed them the lie that love is nothing but sugar and spice, we make the realization of that lie all the more terrible for the person when he or she finally does realize it. By telling them that love is a purely wonderful thing, we encourage them to seek it out as soon as possible, and this, in turn, leads them to falling too far, too soon. We tell them love is something wonderful that we absolutely must have, and they go out and settle for the first thing that comes along that appears to be it. And as we all know, appearances can be deceiving.

However, at the same time, I think that it's important that people do just that, so that they end up being hurt. That may seem cruel, but let's face it, experience counts. By being hurt, people start to become disillusioned with the whole concept of love being absolutely fabulous. They come to realize that it causes just as much (if not more) pain as it does pleasure. Disillusionment leads to reservation, and reservation will hopefully lead to a reduction of future pain.

One thing I know from personal experience: no matter how many times you're betrayed, no matter how many times your heart is ripped out and stomped under foot, love is something a person will continue to seek out even with the knowledge that it will more than likely end up being just another lie. No matter how many times I've sworn to myself that I would never give my heart away again, someone comes along and I end up giving it to them. And, no matter how many times I give it to them, they always end up tearing it in two and throwing it back in my face. It's a never-ending game of pain-pleasure-pain. I hate it, I despise it, and yet I know that it's a game I will continue to play for the rest of my life. It's impossible not to. Humans are incapable of living without love. Sometimes I wish that wasn't so. Sometimes I really wish I could function as a perfectly content, happy person without love. But then I think of the times I was in love, and of how happy I was, and how the world seemed just that much better as a result, and I know that it would be a hundred times worse if I was able to live without love.

Hmmm...this isn't turning into the bitter tirade I was expecting it to. How very disappointing...

Anywise, in the end I guess it all boils down to one simple little thing: love is heaven and hell combined in one. I guess we really can't have our cake and eat it too. Figures.

I have tons more I could write, but I've got precious little time, so I'll end this introductory article right here.

I'll be attending a Marilyn Manson concert in a few days, and plan on writing a little piece about the man who says that we, as queers, "make good looking models". Too kind, Mr. Manson, too kind.

Until then,

Ryan
wormboy_15@hotmail.com


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