There once was a boy who very much wanted to be loved and to fall in love. He was always chasing after the affirmations he would find burning in the smiling eyes of those he encountered when he spoke to them. And, those who showed him no favor, he dismissed.
But he was gravely flawed, for in himself he saw nothing worth loving. It was only in the eyes of others that he could find comfort.
He became so fascinated by love that its pursuit became the reason for his existence. It blinded him. He couldn’t help it of course, and oh, how sweet the prose of his youthful pining.
He grew older and in living this way broke the hearts of many others who also wanted very much to be loved and to fall in love. For the way he looked at them inspired in them the same sense of that ‘being loved’ which he had sought.
And so he would appear, flashing his smile and saying his words. He would look for love, attention, and admiration and then satisfied; he would walk away.
I once watched him as a young man approach a piano in a busy college cafeteria. He played, well I might add, and standing from the piano smiled at a beautiful young woman in a green coat.
She smiled back at him and leaned forward to engage him in conversation, but he walked away. He loved the chase too much. He knew not how to approach love honestly.
Her face frowned at his departure as she leaned back in her chair.
He was so in love with being in love that he failed to love honestly and eventually, the young man met his match. For he fell in love with a young woman who was very similar to himself.
She too adorned herself in light in order to cover the unruly darkness that swirled below her mask. She too wore love on her sleeve to hide her own inability to love herself. She too flashed smiles of warmth from a cold heart and embodied joys so as to quiet her fears and sins.
It was with great interest that I watched their encounter.
When the young man smiled at her and she smiled back, he was captivated – for in her smile there was a similar light – dangling atop the void neither of them could see.
He became obsessed with her smile, and gave of himself in ways he had never given anyone in order to be rewarded with it again and again; he gave himself fully.
Writing letters, sending poetry, giving flowers…the brokenness of their smiles aligned and brought forth a love like one that he had never known before.
The words he had given to others to captivate their hearts she spoke to his. The touch he gave to others to nourish their love she gave to him. His cold heart ignited in ways he had never known before. It was a relationship of endless beauty painted atop a timebomb of heartbreak. I still remember his smiling at her. The poor lad was clueless.
Clueless because a poetic love of such depth can only be described as impossible. No smile lasts forever on an honest face. No unreconciled darkness stays forever behind the light.
I watched him lay beside her under the stars. I heard their laughter and I straightened the collar of my overcoat as I walked away in the growing cold.
He had reached the top of love’s mountain. Had found her pool and had stared into it. He had soared to the heights of his dreams, indeed, he had held his very dreams in his arms and looked into her eyes.
And, oh, he would fall.
One day she lifted her mask and revealed to him a cold light. The cold light he had hidden within himself in his pursuit of love. Her face became distant to him, frozen.
I watched him then, as everything he knew about love, as his very dreams were pulled from his eyes into that cold light. Like a star devoured by a black hole – his passions, poems, dreams, hopes, memories, values, faith and everything else that he had been was pulled from him.
I heard him cry out in a dissillusionment so traumatizing that it could only be described as death. And, when he awoke, he found himself on his knees staring into a once reflective pool now frozen by winter’s honest grasp.
My poor Narcissus.
He wanted to be loved so badly and that he had to be blinded by his own beauty in order to see himself as beautiful.
The darkness he had run from, his inability to love himself, had deceived him in a relfection atop shallow water.
It was only a matter of time.
You should hear him sing now though. And the way he speaks of love is actually grounded in reality.
My young man has grown up well.
I love watching him.
I love being his muse.
Where will he go now?