Love first hit me in third grade. Debbie Hick was a girl in my class. She had red hair and freckles and was solidly built. She was smart and tough and funny. I loved her.
I never told her that. I never made much time with Debbie. I just admired her from across the room.
Love was Debbie and then Cindy in sixth grade, Denise, Kris in high school, Rainy (my first girlfriend), Rachel in Australia in 1984-85, Becky, Carol, that Persian girl at Stephen S. Wise, Lisa, Holly, another Lisa…
Love is a flutter in the heart. It’s an empty feeling in the stomach like when you’re reaching out with your foot and the stair isn’t where you thought it was and you start falling through space. Love is that time falling through space until you crash into reality. Love is a fantasy. It is a projection on to people of magical qualities and then blaming them when they disappoint you.
Love does not disappear for me when I obtain the object of my desire. It changes. It deepens. It becomes more complicated and shot-through with hate and ambivalence.
Love expands my boundaries. I’m more open. I’ll try more things. Love, more than anything, gets me out of a rut.
Love improves the quality of everything in my life.
Love is dangerous because I’m vulnerable.
Love makes my life more intense.
The intensity of love has not diminished as I have aged.
Many years can go by without me experiencing it (but never more than five).
Remember setting foot in Israel in July 2000? Walking up to the Western Wall in Jerusalem? That was love. I can’t wait to get back. I need to make more money.