I’m feeling thankful, today, for the motivation that you give me to think about things and put them into words. So, there’s a rough side to my heart — the side closest to the center of my chest, just below the end of my throat — a small patch on my heart that’s rough like a tongue. It’s covered with little tastebuds, or heartbuds, that crave a certain sweetness.
You know that sweetness? You know that craving?
It’s a particular and powerful heart flavor, a pinpoint flash of something like hope that spreads out slowly with a warmth. Maybe that warmth is sadness… and I can almost taste the Sweetness.
There’re times when I’m more vulnerable to it — when I’m down, or I’m afraid, or I’m experiencing being separate from something. When I’m like this I imagine that I can see the Sweetness in other people just out of my reach. I see it in people that I dont even know. In their smiles or in the crinkling of their eyes. I see it in the hand that’s casually placed on a shoulder, or a hand that drops down around a waist. I imagine the Sweetness following them into rooms that are closed to me. I imagine it surrounding them as they talk quietly… alone.
I often experience this when I feel like something or someone has been taken from me. When I’ve move, or have left a job, or a relationship has ended. And the strange thing is I’ve known the day-to-day of those relationships — what’s it’s like to be in the presence of those things or people. The difficulties, the sudden pleasures and comforts, the disappointments … the realness of it. But the moment that they’re absent or over I imagine them bathed in the Sweetness.
Like they’ve possessed something they hadn’t shared with me yet.
Yet. Always yet.
That something hadn’t been unlocked for me, or I hadn’t unlocked it, but suddenly it was available to the world for the taking. And my heartbuds start craving a flavor they’ve never tasted, and I’m grieving something that I’ve never had to begin with. The fantasy of that sweetness, it seems so real, but at the same time it’s cast in the vapors of half-images.
Half images of being plucked out of this life, by someone or something and being cared for completely — being utterly adored. Hugged. Surrounded. Protected. With some unending, slightly neutered, innocent sexuality thrown in. Images of being at peace, on a porch maybe fixing something. Solid. Confident. Purposeful. And being purely loved, no pain, no complexity no difficulty — just surrounded by warmth. Innocent warmth. The Sweetness.
It’s old, I know that. A desire for something I’d wanted a long time ago. When I was a little kid I experience it as a yearning for movie-love. The movie-love I saw in Cinderella or any other Disney movie, or in Elizabeth Shoo’s character in the original “Karate Kid”. I thought I saw it in Kara Slateries smile as I walk her home in the fifth grade. And it extended out into my friends’s home. I felt like I saw it their too in the privacy of their families. I’ve imagined it existing in steady jobs I didn’t take and paths I didn’t choose. Always existing in something else, or someone else.
But never something I experienced directly.
Now I’m realizing that this old, confused Sweetness fantasy is interfered with my life from time to time. Like somewhere along the way I kind of became addicted to that old craving. It’s like a drug that hits so hard and feels so good with that weird, sweet pain that it makes reality seem blunted and grey.
But it has at times interferred with my ability to feel real hugs, and to have real moments of connection. Interfered with my ability to learn about what it looks like, and what it feels like to have a real relationship in this mystery we call adulthood.
To appreciate the subtleties of it, to take some responsibility for the hard work and discovery that goes into making connections and feeling contentment.
But again and again the call of that Sweetness has pulled me out. Pulled me out.
So, I’m trying to let go of it — the Sweetness. And there’s a sadness in giving it up. Kind of a grieving for a grieving. But it doesn’t belong.
I don’t know.
I don’t know if this makes sense, but… but I want to be Here.
- ze frank