I don’t truly understand what she sees in me, though I often have an idea; irreducibly faint at times, blatant and coherent at others; but on the whole, in entire honesty, I don’t really know. This is nothing I pride myself on (this “sometimes knowing why she likes me”), because it’s easy enough to know how to please a loved one—at least, it has always seemed so to me. It has always been relatively facile to elicit favorable reactions from people around me: all it takes is the kind word, the sincere but surprisingly unutilized approach of honest, benevolent flattery. This is not an assessment of my more manipulative persuasions, but of the scrupulous ones. Once you understand how to become “nice”, how to align yourself with the archetype of the well-intentioned, it becomes an addiction; it’s a utilitarian approach, perhaps a little selfish too, but in every way pragmatic and, most importantly to me, fully functional. Being nice works, to put it aphoristically, albeit in no way with any connected originality. It’s not out of doe-eyed innocence that I do it (although it’s the cause for many adherents); rather I’m impelled by rational confidence. It’s the way of life I choose and I happen to think it best: it doesn’t flounder where hypocritical selectivity errs, and it isn’t quite as distasteful as ruthless, unremitting hostility. Perhaps that’s why she loves me. I don’t know.
But I know she is good for me – I’m certain of this. I know that I benefit from the unique vibrancy of being around her. I know that there’s happiness in surrounding her, in writing for her, in pleasing her. I worry that this dependency might be my undoing, that it might hurt me – hurt us – if things don’t go as we want. I wonder if love really is a gamble, and the phrase I’ve used for so long might actually have more truth to it than the shiny trinket’s worth I’ve espoused so long, that amusement generated in passing. Love is a gamble, and I’m betting on you. Maybe that really is the case, and in this gamble you risk forfeiting your happiness, but let’s not forget the reward: the sustained satisfaction of love. That’s worth placing the bet, isn’t it? I’ve already made the gamble anyway, now there is only hoping that I don’t find myself emotionally lacerated by its outcome. But this isn’t just a stoic, unemotional risk-assessment; I don’t think like this all the time, only sometimes (and evidently, when I do, I think they make for good writing). I don’t robotically calculate our chances, my chances—I don’t.
With her I lose myself in ecstatic, fulfilled giddiness. Making her laugh is a triumphant cataclysm of accomplishment every time, and I smile foolishly at every instance. Being around her is an act of frontier-assailing, and my every conquest is a violently assertive, self-proclaimed success; with those the degree of severity varies, but they are invariably impressive. I’m treading ground entirely new, and I like it. I’m biased towards myself, in that unavoidable manner only true mythical saints are truly devoid. If saints have ever existed, I’m certainly not of their ilk. I know I’m biased towards myself because I have to be, because I constantly recognize, if cynically, that I act in my favour even as I behave altruistically. Interestingly, it’s for this same reason that I love her. She’s good for me. I know what we have is worth preserving because it’s doing me good; I want to see where it leads, how this all turns out. I want more of this happiness and more of the ineffable excitement, and more of the sensations I’ve never experienced before (solipsist thinking, I know, but come on, this is a blog-post). I’m interested, and profoundly so.
This bird is worth feeding and nurturing; I enjoy its song.