St Valentine & The Dragon

Did I just reference a Toto song? Somebody kill me, please. How do I even know the things I know? Is there a school you can go to to learn the pointless crap I know?

When it comes to matters of the heart, ladies & gents, we’ve come full circle at this here blog. Or maybe we’ve come full circle over my entire blogging “career” (shameful, I know). I think that love, the great pursuit of it, the understanding of its mechanics… this is the sort of shit I sit and think about far too much. Some people watch TV. Some people make pie. I write about love.

Originally, I was going to do an uplifting and inspiring piece here on the evolution of my consciousness from some cynical place to where it is now. Instead, I’d like to present to you a series of random quotations and bits of writing, some of it fiction, some of it from my old blogs, some of it from my old journals… all of it on the subject of love. In a way, it’s like my past self is telling my present self that we’ve done all this before.

[EDIT: Everything below was written pre-2010, folks. I’ve been the same lovesick puppy for at least my 2 decades]

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It’s a 3-year rule for technology, and a 3-year rule for all your other relationships, too.

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This Modern Love Breaks Me – Tuesday, December 23, 2008 [originally posted at Calm Down Dearest]

In 1993, Haddaway released a song which asked the question “What is love?”, following the question immediately with the statement “Baby don’t hurt me”. While mentioning the song may simply revive upsetting memories of the nineties dance scene for some, it makes one wonder if Haddaway wasn’t maybe onto something with his lyrics? I mean, he seems just as confused by the concept of love as the rest of us, and yet he’s able to make an impassioned appeal after, because, like us, Haddaway knows love hurts.

But does it really hurt, or did we just make that part up?

“Love isn’t an emotion, it’s an abstract construct mammals assign to a biological imperative they don’t fully understand.” – Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man)

Humanity has a knack for definitions. We like understanding every aspect of what we do, how we feel, and why we are the way we are. Animals, as far as we can perceive, are less interested in this sort of thing. Humans, though, like accounting for events; whether it’s early Germanic tribes explaining thunderstorms with mythology, or five-year-olds choosing to believe that their Christmas presents come from a dead German in a Coca-Cola suit. In our search for definition we construct large box-shaped towers around ourselves, with scaffolding made from words and understandings. It is this sort of thing, then, that sees us constantly searching for definitions for love.

The point of the rant about definitions, really, is that we need to start questioning what we think we know about the world. Sometimes what society has chosen to accept as truth is just something we’ve lied into being. You know, they say when you tell a lie enough you start to believe it’s the truth? That’s pretty much what we’re doing with love. We’ve so inextricably tied this emotion/imperative/abstract to our ideas of romance that we’ve commercialized our own brain patterns for mass consumption. Ask yourself: Why does sex have to relate to love? Who says there should be a fabled ‘signal’ or ‘first move’ to kick a relationship off? Was it ever really love if it ended? These are all things we need to consider, or else we’re bound to naively repeat the same mistakes we’ve learnt to make from Gene Kelly and [EDIT – let’s pretend I said Clark Gable] down to whoever the latest romantic leads are.

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There are essentially 3 kinds of relationships and they coincide with the 3 kinds of symbiosis. This is not a coincidence. Everything is a microcosm of everything else. There’s parasitism, where one organism benefits at the expense of another. Many people find themselves here, bending over backwards to do anything at all for a pale-skinned blonde with cherry lips, Nazi blue eyes and mildly acne-scarred but still full cheeks. This sort of thing can go on for a long time – years even – and, much like in nature, usually requires a heretofore unseen third party to show up and yank the parasite away from its host. In the outdoors, that person could be a botanist or a game ranger or Smokey the bear. In relationships, that person is usually a boyfriend. Equipped with an actual pair of testicles, as opposed to the mannequin smoothness of the previous host’s mostly unused genitalia, the boyfriend quickly becomes a more useful host to the parasite. And they’re usually two of a kind; like peas and more peas. You, meanwhile, are carrots: easier to stab with a fork, but harder to swallow.

In all likelihood, the parasite and its boyfriend, whose taste in music will be uncannily similar to your own, will develop a relationship akin to another kind of symbiosis: mutualism. Here, both organisms benefit from each others’ presence, i.e. sex. And to really quench that dry spell experienced during parasitism, lots of it.

Meanwhile, you may find yourself in the third and last kind of symbiosis: commensalism. Here, one party benefits without harming the host its leeching off of. It’s like parasitism, only without you standing in the rain watching her drive off in her friend’s car and laughing at your devotion. It’s hard to tell here, though, who is benefiting and who is just hosting the charity ball. Is your new girlfriend the one winning because she likes you and now gets to keep you around? Or are you the one getting something out of this because you feel better about yourself now that someone actually wants to sleep with you? Who here is the hungry caterpillar and who’s the silent, ever-present leaf?

Either way, the fatalistic realization that nature is a cycle should remind you that all relationships are destined to end. If not by internal circumstances (you’re over each other) then probably by external ones (you got hit by a car and died).

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Saying ‘I Love You’ to her can pale in comparison to telling her she’s relevant to you.

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There is one great human fear that manifests itself in a variety of indiscriminate forms to terrorize our hearts and minds. That fear is one of rejection. Even being alone in the dark isn’t so frightening as the concept that maybe someone left us there in the first place. I had just been dumped by someone I felt I was close to. And it was in such a way that implied some greater failure or inherent flaw in my character. This was the same character that was egocentrically driven to pursue love, lust and lively romance when it felt itself a superior entity. Now that my heart had been pounded into sand, however, things just felt awkward. My own skin didn’t fit the deflated framework that made up my self esteem.

In any other soul-numbing situation, you might find that your friends are the best medicine. Sadly, you would be mistaken. In my case, my nearest and dearest were so well versed in my bipolar temper tantrums following recent heartbreak that they simply chose to ignore me. Any group I joined read my desire for attention and dispersed like shards of a vase falling to gravity. I was an unholy Valentine’s pariah.

I was Casper the friendly ghost, who made most everyone run and scream at the sight of him.

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I realize that it seems, now, that all I post about here is love and comics. Maybe I should combine my obsessions and start working on a romance comic?

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