obvious in my heart
Is it confetti in the air, a word thrown amidst showers of sparkles, ephemeral and trifling but no less beautiful for its fleeting nature? Or is it the secret word of last resort, pried out with crowbars and truth serum, held back until end-stage relationship warfare for fear of its misuse? Does it fall from your lips the moment it is thought, or is it the unsaid knowledge that burns behind your eyelids, shimmering into your vision every time its object is seen?
What does it take to trigger the word 'love' from your lips? Is it an easy breath shared with friends; a sweaty, sexual gasp; a solid familial or marital reassurance? There is no unsaying, no retraction; does that knowledge of permanence make the words easier to scatter to the wind or infinitely more dear?
I've written emails to many people this week, emails to people whom, if I were half as reticent, would likely have been liberally sprinkled with the word. I've never been able to buy into the idea of love and friendship as a mutually exclusive stair-step curve; for me, there is no magical and sudden transmutation between the two. Plotted on a graph between zero and love, my friendships trace a gently asymptotic line. Many simple, platonic friendships. Some are deeper, complicated.
Some tend far, far closer to love and complexity than they ever will to zero. There is Jeff, yes, the biddably obvious example; but what of those gentler stars trailing close behind? Do they understand that it is only my reticence, my fear of frightening them, that keeps me from occasionally whispering the words that are so obvious in my heart? For several of those gentler stars are indeed obvious in my heart, obvious and deserving, and yet the word dies on my lips for fear of misinterpretation.
I imagine sometimes how the more casual use of the word 'love' would taste on my lips. I like to think I could learn to render it with the bright sprinkling sweetness of simple sugar, but I know myself too well to believe that. For me it is molasses; muted, smoky, and rich; slow to spread and impossible to mistake for anything but itself.
Would that I could be a spun-sugar girl.