1. an accident
2. a delicious meal
3. an annoying person
4. great sex (or someone or something sexy)
5. a dog or a cat—a pet, or someone else’s pet, even one you didn’t like very much
After everyone has written these descriptive free writes, place the words “Love is” in front of each one. Suddenly you have a metaphor. Read three of these out loud, allowing some time between each reading, and encouraging everyone to write down images, words or phrases that stand out from each person’s piece. Read around three times. Then write for 20 minutes, whatever comes to mind.
What I wrote is below.
He liked not being in love. It had an easy way about it, the day to day without distraction or worry, without obligation or expectation. Without Love, Lust had long visits, and he could luxuriate in the naked stickiness of, say, a shirtless man lying on his stomach in Dolores Park, or tight jeans and a nice bulge in the crosswalk.
Lust allowed him to stare—hard—at muscular, chocolate calves with a dusting of black fur, or the big nose on the Croatian man at the Honda dealership. There were lovely crevices where that nose could go, followed by a tongue.
Love, in contrast, was stuck in one place. Love was cooking breakfast, or packing a lunch, making dinner reservations, meeting other couples for brunch. Love was boring: the same old fantasies about cutting a wedding cake and smiling for black and white photos. Love asked too many questions and forgot to call because he fell asleep. Love brought up ex-lovers and longed for someone skinnier, someone with a bigger dick or a tighter ass.
But Lust was always happy to discover whatever package was waiting for him when those pants came down. Lust could have a party anywhere: under thin grey blankets on a Trans-Atlantic flight, in the backroom of a disco, even in the park at sunset. Lust was easy and free and seldom felt disappointing. If Lust was sometimes lame, so be it. He could always move on.
Love made promises it couldn’t keep, sent sweet texts, fed off anticipation, then arrived 20 minutes after the film began, asking, “What did I miss?” Love came with baggage: bad mommies and dead daddies, religious values; sometimes Love stumbled right into the bedroom to find infidelity going at it with its lifelong partner.
Still, Love wasn’t all bad. Sometimes Love brought thoughtful gifts from far away places, or planned surprise parties, and once in a while, Love surprised him with a weekend away, or even a trip to Paris. Love slept in sometimes, too, or watched him sleep, lovingly. Love looked, watched, planned. Sometimes Love was strong and kind and resilient. Every now and then, Love was forgiving too.
But Lust never got his hopes up, didn’t expect to spend the night, didn’t get down on his knees to propose. Lust ordered another beer and shared the pork belly appetizer, winked, then engaged in flirtatious banter. Lust was that little point on the v-neck sweater where the periwinkle fabric met the tendons of the neck, the clavicle, the line drawn between firm pectoral muscles. Lust darted out its tongue, licked its lips, and smiled knowingly.
Lust didn’t order dessert; it never needed to.