“I love you.” A definition

Old High German lubōn – to love
a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
sexual passion or desire
to need or require
to benefit greatly from

When I said it, I meant I had lost my mind, that I could no longer think about you rationally. I meant your presence on the planet, in this building, your voice curling through the long twisted jangle-cord of the phone, even just the thought of you dulled everything else in the room, friends, food, breathing. Who needs to breathe?

I meant I could feel you searing yourself in long deep imprints into the theatre at the back of my brain. Like a glacier, or a scar, or an affiliation with a group. I meant, really, that you would never go away.

For a year I focused all my meditations on arriving at a more accurate definition. I settled to “I can (see, touch, taste, sense, feel) the divine when I (see, touch, taste, sense, feel) you.”

Then last night, half-awake. The particular curl of my back and my bent knees. The weight on a nerve in my neck causing my arm to go numb. Lowering the acutely sharp angle of my pillow. In the dissipating cushion of air below my reseated sheet it came to me.

When I said it, I meant I thought I could make you happy.

That years later we would be in some restaurant, a pimply waiter with an ounce of charisma cracking a dumb bit of humor. And you would laugh. And we would laugh. And you would look across the long, flat, cloroxed, constantly cleaned, constantly crumby, off-white table. And you would just be, genuinely, happy.

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A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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