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2003-04-09 - 7:06 p.m.

I had two very interesting experiences with love the other day, and both within 24 hours of each other.

The first was an email I received from someone I am absolutely mad about, who unfortunately lives very far from me. We have been corresponding regularly through email, and I didn't hear from him in a few days when I got a mass email from him. Up until this moment I had been concieted enough to think that he only signed emails using "w/love" to ME. But THEN I opened up this quite innocent email, addressed to many people, and the signature was the same! Signing "w/love" to a bunch of people? A mass if you will? I was ridiculously heartbroken. Then I went to his website, which was the point of the innocent email, and I looked at everything there and it made me realize even more what a cool guy he is, and made me even more heartbroken. Just two simple words that can have such an effect. It instantly called to mind something I read in one of the Sandman installments, written by Neil Gaiman: (and which I ran out and bought for the purposes of quoting here so I wouldn't forget)

"Have you ever been in love?"

"You might say that."

"Horrible, isn't it?"

"In what way?"

"It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... you give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "maybe we should just be friends" or "how very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love.

I hate love."

A little heavy-handed, to be sure, for this particular instance. And am I really in love with this guy? Probably not. But the pain of it at least was real. Because it occured to me that what I would like to see come out of this relationship I have with him will not happen, at least not without several large miracles. Not to mention the fact he specifically told me that he was not interested in starting anything with me! I think I was trying hard not to pay attention to that minor detail previously. And I went through the 5 stages of love/death (denial, anger, barganing, depression, and finally acceptance) rather quickly this time. No doubt due in some small part to admitting to myself that NO I in fact am not in love. Realizing this is a bigger step than it may seem. I'm going to try to make the effort from now on to not say or think "I love you" when it comes to anyone until I am sure of it. Love isn't something to throw around lightly. Although I can already see myself getting around my new rule... what exactly is "sure" anyway. Who's ever sure of love? But at least this is a step in the direction I want to take myself in.

Now I come to the next experience. At work that same night, someone I haven't spoken with in months and months messaged me up. I should perhaps explain that the work environment I am in doesn't lend itself towards face to face communication, and we communicate with each other via chat channels and private messages. It is a rare and terrible day that I see this man face to face! Last year he broke my heart into a million pieces. I've had my heart broken before, sure we all have, but THIS time it was particularly bad. I always thought when I was growing up that I would meet the man of my dreams and I would instantly know it. And this was the man! Things were so great for awhile between us, and I have never been so in love like this before or since. Unfortunately, he did not feel the same about me, and when he broke up with me I couldn't believe it. How could your SOULMATE reject you? The man is just a black hole in my heart. I am still not completely over the terrible disappointment, because I was ABSOLUTELY SURE that he was "the one", but I was finally recently starting to realize that yes! it just might be possible to be happy with someone else. I had just erased all the old emails he had sent me, all the love letters, and I stopped carrying around an I love you note from him in my wallet just the month previous. What timing he has! He messaged me up and asked "how've you been?" Now of course I had many well thought out choice replies memorized just in case he ever tried speaking to me again, such as "go to hell" or "since when do you care". But I decided to be honest with him and just told him how I was feeling at work that night. I think this is important that I did this, not just because perhaps some semblance of friendship can be saved, but because this marks a new decision in my life of how to treat people. Sure I'd like to make him feel immense amounts of pain for making me feel so bad for so long, but is it really his fault he doesn't love me like I love him? This seems fairly obvious when I write it out, but I assure you it was an entirely new concept for me the other night, and it all came to me in a flash.

A couple days ago, I had written all of this out and more, and I went on and on about this particular lost love of mine, when suddenly there was a split second power outage and I lost everything. I was beyond furious. I'm sure what I wrote that morning was far more eloquent than it is now, because it was all fresh in my mind. Then I came to look at it as fortuitous. Even the elements are against me thinking too long about this man! Very much time to move on. Even if the two of us are speaking again, which I don't think we will be since we were just placed on seperate shifts at work, I think I'll be able to not feel so poorly about the whole debacle as I once did. Thank God! But I have to admit, my heart quickened and I started sweating when I saw his name on my screen, and I'm sure I blushed. Sigh... so much over just one stupid person!

Well, two now. But this latest one who lives so far away at least didn't last nearly as long. Although I'll probably become entirely too excited when I see I've received an email from him in my inbox for some time to come.

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