It’s always been of vague concern to me that maybe I love more than I am loved by others. I’m a simple animal. Within five minutes of meeting a person I decide if I like them or not, and within another five I decide that I love them like my own breath and proceed to lavish these individuals with a kind of slavish adoration that has been termed: “Creepy”.
Nick had taken me by the elbow at one point.”Listen. You’re funny and all. But you need to stop acting like a rapist.”
I have a hard time curbing my behavior as it is, but coupled with a childhood entirely starved of genuine peer affection and the dawning realization that maybe not all of my character traits are repugnant makes it even harder. Every now and then I would like to gather the people in my life deep into my bosom and say; “I love you all SO much. If I could I would crawl inside of you like Skywalker crawled inside that Tauntaun in Empire Strikes Back, I love you so. ”
And Nick would have another quiet word with me while the rest of the party would agree that I should not be allowed around bongs anymore. Even in the capacity of a spectator.
However I’m coming to the conclusion that maybe this one sided devotion extends not only to people, but also to places and things.
Take for example my Laptop. I have cared for it, soothed it, backed up all of it’s files, sung it’s praises and cradled it everyday and yet now it’s decided to reject the idea of home based wireless internet like a bad transplant kidney.
“C’mon, baby.” I soothe as I try to load the yahoo front page again. “Remember that time I so tenderly cleaned the dust from between your keys? I sang Jeff Buckly to you as I buffed your screen to a shine. Why will you not tell me what’s wrong?”
“Cannot load page. Your computer is not connected to the internet.” I am coldly rebuffed.
An even crueler lover has been the coastlines. I worship the oceans with reverence some family members don’t even receive. No matter how cold or choppy or rip tidey I will attempt to swim at at any beach I gain access to. The smell triggers in me a euphoric reaction not unsimilliar to putting a labrador in the car for a ride and then rolling down the window on the free way. I fling myself into the sea with no regard for personal safety, gather and dispose of trash, fall asleep in the sand, cut the rings that hold sodas together so baby sea turtles may not become entangled… So much effort on my part and how am I repaid?
Blistered sunburns, jelly fish stings and flesh scored raw by blowing sand. And that one time with the shark in Hawaii but come on it REALLY looked like a fucking dolphin from where I was swimming.
Although I guess the sea isn’t entirely at fault. I really should have learned to guard myself from her harsher mood swings. Dammit though I can never seem to remember to put on sunblock. The condom for UV rays.
Once when I was 16 my parents surprised me with trip to Cancun for my birthday. I thought we were just going to Chicago like usual and was too stupid to look at the flight board. It wasn’t until we were half way across the Gulf I realized where we were going. At that point my mind ceased to function as an adult. My bathing suit was on before we even hit the ground. Four years of landlocked exile in the nougaty center of the country had made me rabid.
Our hotel was right on the water and I was ready to go fling myself it to the arms of my love. My mother attempted to corral me with SPF 50. But I chittered like a tiny, angry animal and hurtled out the patio door towards the beach, leaving my mother with empty greased hands.
“Just let her go.” Said my father pulling a newsweek out his bag. “She’ll realize she’s made a mistake by tonight.
My mother washed her hands of sunscreen and responsibility and the two ordered margaritas.
Sure enough by the time my enthusiasim had been cooled by the onset of dusk and hunger I was the color of Marinara sauce. Wincing and whimpering. By day two I molted like a cicada, my swedish genetics revealing themselves. It was a fleshy horrifying display.
Of course Both my parents were sunburned too, if to a somewhat lesser extent.
Mom slathered me in sunblock on day three before we went out snorkeling.
“So now do we realize WHY we take the time to do this? Because it turns out badly otherwi-OH. CHRIS!”
My father had walked by and pinched the burned bottom part of her ass that her swim suit hadn’t covered.
“If you do that AGAIN I will DIVORCE you.”
By the end of the trip I was a husk of a human being but my love was not diminished.
In planning my escape from the midwest I knew I had to get back to the coast where I could continue my masochistic love affair. And continue it did. It’s why as I type this I’m shifting in a desperate attempt to find some section of my dermis that does not feel as if gasoline has been poured on it and then set alight. I should know to avoid falling asleep at the beach but the Beers were crisp and tasty and the sand warm. So I fell asleep on Saturday at Baker’s beach. Photo’s of my friends can be seen posing with my prone, drooling form like tourists in front of the Great Wall or some damn thing. All of them complicit in my sizzling.
So the beach claims yet another pound of flesh from me. Not for the first time and probably not the last either considering how much I love the abuse.
“I love you, Ocean. I love you so much even though you are full of things that only wish me harm. I would drink you if I could I love you so…”
“Listen. It’s sweet and all,” Says the ocean.”But I really wish you would take the hint because this is getting kinda creepy.”
Alas, I am smitten though and incapable of controlling my desire to be as close as possible to what I love, even if my affections are not wholly returned.
I can however now spot a jellyfish at twenty yards in the open water. I ain’t falling for that shit twice no matter how smitten I may be.