My fingers work the keys on my keyboard so she thinks I’m still typing, but I’m not. I’m looking over my shoulder. She has no idea I’m watching her sitting on the far side of the couch holding a book. Her eyes move from left to right, soaking up each word. Her hair is long and curly. In this light, it looks dark but I know in other lights the color changes. Her lips are red that matches the red in her cheeks. She has a sweatshirt on and a blanket covering her naked lower half.
I’ve stolen this moment. I do this all the time. When she doesn’t know my eyes are on her I try to study her every movement. I try to insert myself in her thoughts and feel what she’s feeling. When she’s on her phone with her earbuds in, when I peak into the bathroom while she’s showering. Maybe I’m checking to make sure she’s still here. I can’t shake the feeling that all good things will eventually be ripped from my grasp. On my knees, I’ll watch it get further away like when I was a kid watching that balloon I got careless with.
I don’t think I’m an easy person to love. I’m trying to be. I’ve tried to create things in myself that make people want to be near me. I’m not sure I’m doing a good job. I have no internal mechanism that creates self-worth. It seems insane to me that there are people walking around feeling good about who they are. I look at these people like they’re aliens.
I love flawed people. I don’t mean people who are flawed in the way we are all flawed. Or maybe I do, I don’t know. I’m not sure flaws can be graded on a scale. Maybe it’s a matter of getting to know someone well enough to find all those flaws to love. But it makes me feel better to see the good in people. I’m not a hero. This is the most selfish thing I do. I want people to see the good in me. I want them to see it because I can’t. I’ve been trying to for a long time.
I show love. I don’t say it. I don’t give gifts. I touch and do quality time but it isn’t how I express my feelings. Maybe my acts of service aren’t clear. I cook for the people I care about. I want you to walk into the house and smell the browned chicken. I want you to taste the roasted spices. I take the time to rinse the rice and toast it in butter so it cooks perfectly. I’ll go on a scavenger hunt clear across town to find obscure ingredients.
I work like crazy. I work like I’m punishing myself for something. But in my mind, it has a purpose. It has an end date. It’s me trying to build towards something where life gets a little easier. It may not seem like it, but this is me showing love. It’s me trying to pick you up and carry you with me to that destination. We can both enjoy the fruits of my labor when we get there.
I listen. I ask questions. When I care about you, I want you to unburden yourself to me. Lay it all out there on the floor. Let us look at it together. If your shoulders feel a little lighter afterward it’s because I love you so much. It’s because we’re sharing the load.
I write for the people I care about. I get up at 4:30 most mornings to try and write. Sometimes I get lost on the internet but I do try. I’ll sit in the dark staring at a screen wondering what it is I feel about this person asleep in the other room. I’ll picture her smiling or crying or cumming. I’ll dig until I find the heart of what it is inside me that needs to speak to you. I force it out the tips of my fingers. It isn’t easy or fun. To be honest I don’t particularly enjoy the act of writing. I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to it. It is the most profound act of love I can offer.
I’d like it for this to be enough. In my ideal world, I feel this for as many people as possible. I don’t think it’s realistic for me to only love one. I know to some that makes it seem like the love isn’t as valuable. For me, it means I get to cook more. I get to listen more. I get to write more. I admit it could be a flaw inside my head that more is almost always better than less. But love me for my flaws. I have so many of them.