I still believe that true Romance is part of this world, part of this life, part of what dictates the writing of these words.
True Romance has shifted through the centuries more than anything else in existence, yet it is still a powerful motivator for much of our actions.
For the ridiculous things we put ourselves through to attract attention or shine a light upon ourselves, or impress and trick others into liking us or becoming interested in us. For making souls dance under a roof or in the middle of a green field, for sucking the pollen from all the roses.
It’s like the hobbyists who play an instrument or sing without ever considering becoming professionals. Why do they do it? They do it to feel the music deeper, to tap into an invisible level very few have ever touched.
So why do we write about love? Why do we get sucked into romance or develop romantic personalities and behaviors?
We can never write enough about love. There will never be enough writers in the world to capture every inch of its complexity and mystery. The romantics thought themselves wise enough to be called experts and references on the matter, but the truth is even the greatest sage considers himself unwise to counsel over it.
We do it to keep feeling. We do it to keep in touch with our emotions. We do it because large quantities of alcohol or any other substance can never be enough to fill us – to drown our guts and make us numb out of a feeling that has been overwhelming us like mad vultures circling the skies above us – or save us from the intensity we lack whenever we dissociate ourselves from romance.
Everything can be caught on paper. Everything can be written down exquisitely and eloquently. Everything can be put into detail. Our life is a myriad of puzzles waiting to be combined to form a final picture. The finality of this quest is met at the altar, where we will baptize ourselves in a new flame and burn brightly in its fires. But writing is no substitute for living. Recording our most intense feelings and affections is not a replacement for running through them.
The intimate nights sliding next to a lover in bed, or soaking with another one under the pool showers, or embracing madly at 1:00 AM in the car when it’s snowing heavily and your windshield is covered in a white blanket.
These are the moments worth attending, the moments worth showing up for and being present to experience. These are the moments that make us say, this is one of those moments you know you’ll remember forever, even before they occur.
Because when you’re alone at night wondering why time is so slow and nothing’s happening, you fall back on them. You remember every single one of them in its most excruciating detail, and your heart gently weeps for them.
God, if there ever was a means for writing to get us there – to make all those moments we imagine or half-moments we build on in our heads come true – then we would all strive to make the best of writers.
So then, why do we still write? We’re no better than the musicians playing in their basements or pretending their room is a stage to perform on – we’re not real writers. Very few of us will make it, if ever any. In this world, in this economy, it’s a dead end. We don’t write to be writers anymore. We’ve moved past that insanity.
We don’t write to be labeled or for the perks that come with it. We write to reinvent romance and wear the new faces of romanticism. We do it to be called the new romantics, to become the new reference for saturated feelings of infatuation.
As I sit here spinning an empty bottle of beer on my kitchen floor, watching it turn while hitting every dead roach and picking up every dust ball, I go back to the times I used to share my alcohol with my women. I was normally very sensitive about my drinks, but something in their presence convinced me to turn generous and open up to them. For a while there was something worth caring about in life – something besides ourselves – and when we stop thinking about our needs and how we wish to spend our time and look at others instead, then we know we’re hooked.
We’re hooked to something we don’t understand, something that tells us it’s here to stay for a while and shelter us from the bad days and disappointments we’re about to experience. Something that acts as a cushion to soften the blows. A new drug that hooks us and makes it harder to cut off. A new addiction, similar to writing. Better than writing.
The bottle on the floor is still spinning. So are the feelings inside me; the drug of romance is acting up in my insides, swirling and tumbling and breaking in every direction.
When they’ll both stop I can never tell.