Why do we love knowing the pain that comes?I pondered this as I listened and felt the ache of a broken-hearted friend.
I remember pondering this in middle school. Twelve and besotted. A girl with curls and a mean spike. One that parts jerseys on the other side of the net.
She had a kernel dimple on the corner of her mouth. I loved her. Wrote her poems and letters that she returned to me in a pile tied with twine. Letters I wrote in my best English, having absorbed Harlequin language. Might have plagiarized from my mom’s dog-eared collection. How could she just return them, careless, like an overdue library book? I did not comprehend. She never said why. Just left me crying in the hallway. My friends rushing around like a curtain.
We’d all been suckered by seventh graders.
Then in high school a few times more. Hash tags on my arms still visible. (I love too much I love too much)
It’s like a high on a rollercoaster. You scream and scream with your gut in your mouth; then, get back in line. Can I fix how I feel? Is there a pill to stem chest pains caused by an unknown biological agent. It’s like a drug I didn’t have to take.
I tell my friend that everything is going to be alright, but that it’ll get worse before it gets better. The stakes are higher when you’re older. Sell the house? Split the kids? Which friends should who take? How about health insurance?
Much messier than a pile of unwanted love letters.