Three Ways To Make Sure Your Love Is Real

It’s a strange story, which is my story. It was the first time I fell in love, for real love. Instead of having a real relationship, we had a secret one. Why? Because we were young and he wasn’t ready to commit. But we spent all our time together anyway. One time, we took a trip to Seattle, and the thing about the motel being a dump without an ice machine is true. The Malibu, well that too unfortunately, because it had been on sale. Supposedly, we weren’t going to sleep in the bed together, as we weren’t a real couple. The plan was that he’d sleep on the floor. His plan, not mine. I was in love with him. I’d take Seattle with a plan for him to sleep on the floor over no Seattle any day. Oh, the joy of being a person that takes her highs and lows very seriously.

When it was finally over, I, like many before me, thought that I could fuck away my sadness. Though, to be fair to myself, I never actually thought it would work. I just wanted to feel better temporarily. I wanted to prove (to myself) that I was still lovable, and of course what happened was I actually felt the opposite.


That Dump Without An Ice Machine


That white light hitting the white rug
through the curtains, rippling
like a flag of
surrender, white bedding, walls,
mirrors. That exposure.
It’s a hotel room, yes, and it’s morning.
There it is.
My black dress on the floor. Contrast.
Sheets up to my chin, no face,
just a limp arm draped over my belly.
Who is he
that reminds me
of someone else,
white light laser beam
shut up please.


These white sheets are of another white room,
after playing cards on a cheap table
and drinking Malibu and cokes without ice.
That love love.
That dump without an ice machine. No,
you didn’t sleep on the floor. No, it wasn’t
the booze in our blood
that made our bodies act that way.
It was something else, something
inextinguishable. That we had it under control,
no. Will it always be this kind of chaos
in our hearts that makes us feel most alive?


This is one version,
you as the ocean, me
as the rocks, later
sand. What comes after,
that deafening responsibility
for my actions. I know
this stranger’s got an early flight to catch,
good. Go.
I’m searching everywhere
for my underwear,
places they wouldn’t be,
like behind the curtains.
Now, he kisses me goodbye,
how polite, now, he’s gone,
and I’m sitting there
against the door
crying, finally.


Three Ways To Make Sure Your Love Is Real

  1. “He reminds me of someone else.” Oh, you’re picking new sex partners who look like someone else, someone you wish you were with.  Real love.
  2. “It was something else, something inextinguishable.” Someone who makes you feel infinite. They will always make you feel that way, even after its over and you’ve actually moved on. Real love.
  3. “What comes after, that deafening responsibility for my actions.” You gladly take responsibility for falling in love with him because it was worth it to feel so shitty after it’s over. Even if it means you wake up in the hotel rooms of 1000 strangers as part of the dealing and healing process. If that’s fine with you, then it’s real love.