Life’s predicaments. Chapter five: Today


I’m thirty five now and I’ve already settled down. It takes a while for the dust to settle and for us to start to see clearly, but fortunately I found a companion who managed not to fuss around too much so the process was faster in her case. Of course I didn’t settle, and I think that, had I found her before, I would’ve settled down before. But I don’t want to make a pseudo-romantic assertion and say that I settled down only because of her. I had a great role in it. When I met her, five years ago, I had to make a conscious effort not to be stupid and think she’s dispensable and I’m the only important factor in the stability equation. I’ve been there, I mean on the other side, falling in love with women who weren’t ready because they had everything planned: when and where they were going to fall in love. In this aspect I’m an inveterate romantic. For me love needs to damage you; otherwise it’s not love. If you plan on how to love, or you decide when and where it’s more convenient for you to love, then it’s rather an advantageous transaction than a real connection with the world. And that’s not love but association, partnership in life. Companionship is different; that’s real love. You’re there for someone in moments of need. I used to have this ethereal conception of love, but now I’ve realized it was just because I hadn’t had the opportunity to put the theory into practice. Now I agree with all the conventions about love: it’s care, support, understanding, patience. And yes, now I even agree with the conventional idea of a bigger love, a special love, your other half. Before, I believed that there were only biological reasons why we give more love to our partners. I thought it’s because we’re limited creatures and we simply can’t love everyone with the same magnitude, unless we get rid of our biological needs, like priests and monks attempt to do. But now I think differently. I really believe that when two people join their forces, the are more complete and they can irradiate a brighter love to the world. Because those people feed each other and don’t need to rest from loving the world, as a single person needs. They don’t need to detach themselves from the ungratefulness and meanness of society because they do everything for each other and don’t need any other reward than knowing that the other person admires their effort.

It’s so easy to be happy, but many people simply choose not to because they don’t value happiness. They think that suffering is part of love, but it’s not. Suffering is part of our egos, nothing more. I mentioned before that we’re damaged by love, and it’s evident when you see the economic damage kids do on their parents. But this damage is owned by them and therefore they don’t suffer. To suffer without damage is the most ridiculous thing, but many people do it and really think they’re loving. They cry for someone who doesn’t want to be with them and think that’s love. They’re similar to those people who see a beggar in the streets and, instead of giving them money or food, they sing a song or pray to them, as if these people begged as a hobby and not because they’re in dire need of material things. These preachers that cater to the homeless may really believe they’re full of love, when actually most of the people they approach may think they’re full of shit. Love would be simple if only people were humble and did the simplest thing: to give a beggar the money he’s begging for or, in the case of the brokenhearted maiden, to forget about her miscarried feelings and to look for someone else to love. But we like convoluted things, until we learn that love is simple: it’s giving the other person what they’re asking for.

So there she was, five years ago, openly free and ready to poor out all the love she had accumulated in her. We met by chance, but is chance really chance after all? Or is it a meticulously planned reward or punishment for our actions? I just know that if I had thought for a moment that she was mere chance, I would’ve gone insane. If I hadn’t reassured myself that I deserved her, that the heavens were recognizing all my good deeds, I wouldn’t have had the courage to claim her as mine.

So there she was, looking carefully at me on our first date, but she never forgot to smile. And I’m all for honesty and I appreciate a straightforward girl who always speaks her mind, but she was better than that. She was young back then, but she was already mature. Her intelligence led her to take a deferential attitude to me, not because she considered me smarter, but because she respected our date and wanted to keep a congenial atmosphere. For my part, I couldn’t praise myself for having been nice to her. I tend to react to people’s attitudes and I’m over sensitive and too intellectual, so many of my previous dates ended up in the girl being offended or in a heated debate over some metaphysical matter, which was off-putting to the girl. But she had an instinct to keep it simple, and I admired her for that. It’s as if she was the director of a movie and I was just a talented but disoriented actor, who needed lots of guidance. She led me through the whole recording of the scene, always making sure I kept in mind that it was a lighthearted and romantic part of the movie. Ahead of us there would be some small drama, but all in its due time. I think we tacitly agreed on something, though: We both wanted to play in a romantic comedy, not in Titanic.


I'm a writer born in Argentina, but currently living in Poland. I work as an English and French teacher, translator and copywriter.

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