Someone once asked me if I believed in love. I told him I didn’t know and he laughed because I say that about most things these days.
(I don’t know why he ever expected another answer. He knows that I hate logical fallacies and making decisions.)
I’ve loved, I told him, but I’ve never been in love. First, I said to him, we must ask ourselves how we define the concept of love. Are we assuming that there exists more than one kind of love? Because I love my best friend, but I also love a good plate of chocolate chip pancakes. I love a good book and I love a good existential crisis and I love painting barefoot on a rainy day. And, obviously, I love my cat in a way that is different from the way I love my brother, as the former is superior in the sense that she doesn’t loudly play Call of Duty while I try to read Salinger. I told him that if we acted upon this assumption, then it would only follow that we needed to establish a set of premises to differentiate between these states. He laughed and told me to stop with the logic bullshit.
We began to outline the different kinds of love. (And by we, I mean that I began to outline and he began to regret ever asking me such a question.) We decided that to be in love, one must be in state of personal attraction to a set of ideas. These ideas can take the form of a person or a thought or something equally terrible. In this case, then maybe I have been in love. I’m in love with words (Huxley’s, Austen’s, Camus’). I’m in love with the idea of secular humanism and existentialism and Bokononism.
I’ve never been in capital-L Love, though. I’ve never felt the same way about another person as I do for the idea of Seymour Glass’ Fat Lady. Or, perhaps I should clarify that I’ve never felt this way about about a living person. (Because, apparently, literary characters do not count.)
But what if that isn’t love because what if love doesn’t exist? What if, like religion, love is a story taught to us by society? What if love is just a way to rationalize the physical and chemical changes that are stimulated between two people?
(I think this way about many things these days, though.)
In the end, we concluded that we didn’t care. Because it’s just a label, isn’t it? (Labels are something else that I don’t like and he laughed and pointed this out.) But couldn’t love just be another example of a Shakespearian rose?
(I’m still very scared that one day someone will tell me they love me and then I’ll have to tell them all of this and then it will end very terribly once they realize that their biggest competitor is an abstract philosophy or a nonexistent person.)
But I don’t know and I don’t care and this inaneness is only the result of having too much wine and not enough dinner.
And I would like to say fuck you to the person who started this discussion because he’ll always laugh and he’ll always call bullshit on my logic and he’ll always tell me that I’m wrong.
This one is for you, you apathetic asshole.