REAL LOVE?

The Star (St. Lucia) - Life Begins 2 Nite - - CONTENTS - By Sadie Love

Afew Satur­days ago I fi­nally man­aged to per­suade a long­time friend to come out with me for a drink. For weeks she had en­sconced her­self at her house fol­low­ing a ro­mance gone down the toi­let. We had a blast, down­ing tequi­las and all things al­co­holic well into the wee morn­ing hours. That is, un­til we got back to my apart­ment and she started drunk-texting her ex be­tween floods of boozy tears.

I had no idea what to do. I imag­ined what she was feel­ing; I’d been where she was; I em­pathized. For five years she’d been dat­ing a par­tic­u­lar guy; count­less times she had con­fessed to me how madly in love they were. Un­til, poof, the whole thing blew up in her face. Fol­low­ing long ses­sions of cussin’ out each other, hurl­ing hurt­ful words that knew no way back, silly fights that re­sulted in bruises that took days to dis­ap­pear, and some that re­mained put al­beit in­vis­i­ble, they parted. Mr. Lover­man moved on.

We were loung­ing to­gether in my liv­ing room when my friend softly asked the mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion that I am still un­able to an­swer with con­vic­tion: “Why?” Dumb­founded, I hugged her, drew her close. Mean­while I’m think­ing: what did I, af­ter count­less won­der­ful re­la­tion­ships that abruptly turned sour, know about love? What were the give­away sig­nals that sep­a­rate coun­ter­feit love from the real thing?

I was still search­ing my soul as my friend dozed in my arms. What ex­actly was this thing called love, any­way? What­ever else it might be, it cer­tainly was the most sought af­ter trea­sure on this planet. How­ever intangible, what­ever its ups and downs, most peo­ple would agree love is what life is all about—whether or not they be­lieve it to be so. In any case, eas­ier said than done. Af­ter all, how many of us can say with­out self-doubt that we truly love our­selves; that we even know how to? W e hear about it all the time; read about it in our fa­vorite mag­a­zines: once you’ve found true love, hang on to it. Bliss­ful liv­ing de­pended on it. Of course some will also tell you that re­gard­less of how you might feel about a love af­fair gone bad, you should re­mem­ber that true love will al­ways (fin­gers crossed) come back. What a load of crap­ola!

I am near self-con­vinced most of us have not the small­est idea what love is. Nei­ther its pur­pose. One thing for cer­tain, it can ren­der you a drunken mess, a shell of your true self. The proof was ly­ing at my side, still in her party threads, burned out and snor­ing.

Most of my fe­male friends re­main con­vinced they had en­coun­tered love at one time or other. Usu­ally their en­coun­ters de­liv­ered heartache, whether or not by the num­ber. Only through their tears did they rec­og­nize the evap­o­rated cul­prit was lust mas­querad­ing as love. Some are in­sist real love, for one rea­son or an­other, cheating for one, can turn to hate and in­spire thoughts never be­fore imag­ined. How of­ten have we heard about mur­ders in the name of love? How many of us have sac­ri­ficed our true na­tures for love’s sake? By which I mean, ren­dered our­selves in­ca­pable of giv­ing, let alone ac­cept­ing love. Yes, love can do that to you, by pop­u­lar ac­count.

Indis­putable truth: never mind the con­trary no­tions, love is real. Yes, big-time elu­sive. But un­de­ni­able. There may be far more ex­am­ples of love gone wrong, true enough. But al­most ev­ery woman or man I ever met would gladly risk a year of heartache and pain for six weeks of love: deep, dizzy­ing, crazy love. So it has been from the be­gin­ning. So I sus­pect it will be to the end. Maybe it has some­thing to do with our make-up as hu­man be­ings.

What about the pain? What about it? In the name of love, moth­ers de­liver their ba­bies amidst ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain. Or so I’m told. Let me of­fer an­other un­de­ni­able truth: time is the great­est healer—and you are free to make what you will of that. As for my friend, once again she is hap­pily in love. What’s more she’s too busy feel­ing the feel­ing even to think about Mr. What­shis­name. Go fig­ure!

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