Love Lost and Found


I can’t help but wonder if you can love someone and not even know it. Everyone says, “you just know.” I’m not entirely convinced. Sometimes you can think you love someone, so that when they tell you something like:

“We can’t go back to my place because I have this old guy staying with me … He’s my father’s relative …. No, you don’t want to meet him …. Why? Because he’s toothless and has this crazy hair everywhere — just disgusting … and he’s annoying …. OK FINE, he’s just … ridiculously paranoid …. Why? You’re not going to believe me … OK, he’s with the witness protection program, so he can’t deal with strangers …. No, no, no, the witness protection program didn’t place him with me, he was put in there 18 years ago because he saw a guy shoot his brother in the face. They placed him in Florida and he’s been coming up here for the past 7-8 years or so to see family around the holidays. He used to stay with his mother, but now she’s in a nursing home so my father put him in my apartment. And he can’t deal with new people …. Why are you laughing?”

You actually let it fly. Yes, I actually let that one go, making good use of the rationalization that a) you just can’t make that shit up and b) even if you can, you have to give this guy credit for creativity and comedic value. Clearly, that is the kind of love that’s so passionate it’s blind. It’s the narcotic variety of love, blurring the senses, bringing you up, letting you crash, then bringing you up again in a never ending cycle of blissful misery.

Then there’s the “brotherly” love, which is too often confused with romantic love. Sometimes it’s the love that you try so desperately to turn into something more. Sometimes it starts with something more, but ultimately becomes something less.

And then you have the love between two open, balanced, caring people. I call them the Rigoletto Lovers, as they are “a world unto themselves,” as my favorite line in the opera reads. That is the kind of love that I want. It is when two people have the emotional wherewithal to put complete faith and trust in each other and maintain an equilibrium between desire and caring. They have a special understanding of each other, a relationship that they could have with no one else, and maybe even a similar understanding of the world. Don’t get me wrong — these two have their own lives and their own friends, but their happiness as individuals contributes to a soulful union.

I am sure I am missing many varieties of love, but these are what I see most often.

Now, consider this: Do you think that you can have two people who are potential Rigoletto Lovers, but who can’t see it because they’re too emotionally stunted to let their guard down? So they just keep coming together, butting heads, and separating — an inexplicable draw, tempered by fear, doubt and insecurity?

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