I wrote the following piece after offering the list prompt: 5 Kinds of Love (for an explanation of that prompt, click on that highlighted title). A few prompts I was working with:
Love is bloody
Love is a know-it-all
Love won’t shut up
What I wrote is below.
Sit down, love. It’s time for that talk. I know, I know: we’ve had it before. But we’re going to have it again.
I want to begin by saying, I love you, Love. I really do. And as much as I complain about your omnipresence in Hollywood movies and sometimes envy young couples holding hands in the mall, I still think we have a chance. I haven’t given up on you, Love. But here’s the deal: you talk too much, Love; you’re too conspicuous. You’re in my head space, and, well, I’m tired of it. You’re everywhere, Love, and nowhere, too, and to be quite honest, I don’t want to wait around listening to you chatter on about everyone else, and how hot that guy in DC is (the truth is, Love, it’s all subjective, and he ain’t all that).
I’ve given up a lot for you, Love. I missed out on the joy of weddings; I’ve been absent at my own table at the airport while I ate my own lunch. I walked in the shadow of towering marble columns reflecting orange sunsets and all I could think about was your absence. I’ve even walked down streets in Rome without really seeing the beautiful suits and ties in the windows, the lined faces of the tailors, the almond and pistachio cookies stacked up in the bakery windows. I’ve walked down cobblestone streets in beautiful foreign cities and I haven’t been able to see them because I was too busy waiting for you to show up. I’ve made love to bad kissers; I’ve been stood up for coffee dates, for sleepovers, for micro plates of calamari and artisan cocktails, and all because I thought you’d finally show up ready to give yourself to me.
I’m losing my way here, Love.
So let’s just leave it at this: stop inviting me to Paris, Love. Don’t dust any more heart-shaped cakes with pink powdered sugar and promise to share them with me in mid-February. Don’t promise me anything, Love. Give me back my house keys, stop testing me, and un-friend me on Facebook. I love your handsome face and that gorgeous smile, the way you roll your r’s, and give idioms new life. But I’d prefer to live without these expectations you always ignite.
I’d like to take a long hot bath alone. I want to have a group of close friends over for meatloaf. I want to sleep in the middle of the bed with the thermostat set exactly where I want it. I want to spend Saturday morning reading a book—an entire book—without waiting for you to call, or meeting you for coffee. I want to look in the mirror and tell myself I have beautiful eyes, even when my eyelids are oily, even when I haven’t curled my eyelashes. I want to be beautiful again without you, Love.
And so I ask you, this first time, I ask you politely, once and for all, please, please be quiet.