“You don’t know what love is.”
The waiter comes to take our plates. Silence. The type reserved for when you don’t want the waiter to hear what you’re talking about and judge you.
We thank him for clearing up the table.
My friend orders “the usual” for dessert.
It’s always the same.
The same place, meal, drink, dessert, booth, experience.
He’s a regular here.
I used to be.
As soon as the waiter leaves, he goes back at it.
“True love dude. Loving that one perfect person. You don’t know it. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. You’ll understand when you see its true colors.”
I wonder if they’re real.
Color is a function of our visual system. It’s not actually there, but we still see it anyway. This means colors are constructed in our brains, which makes them subjective in nature, not objective.
Take blue for example. There is no clear definition what the color blue is.
It just is.
I wonder if people see the same blue I see.
“You say I don’t understand, but I just have a different perspective.”
He looks at me in pity. “What perspective? You’ve always been single, so how could you know? One day you’ll feel what I’m talking about and you’ll come tell me I was right.”
It’s funny how people translate “I’ve never been in a relationship” to “I’ve never been in love”. As if the two are mutually inclusive.
I’ve been in love.
The first time she moved away. I loved her from half-way across the world.
Distance can make anything fade though. Even love.
The second time she didn’t move away.
Distance takes it’s toll on us anyway.
I learn that distance is more than a measurable length between two points. Sometimes it’s a lot more complicated.
“People think it’s complex man, but love is all about finding the one. When you do you’re never the same again. I promise you it’s not like anything you’ve ever experienced.”
I’m amused by his ability to know what I’ve experienced and what is beyond what I’ve experienced.
“Believe me, you only love when you love the one.”
I believe in love.
I don’t believe in the “the one”.
The idea is too simple, too limiting. Doesn’t it take two to love anyway?
Isn’t love supposed to be without boundaries? Transcendent? Infinite?
I wouldn’t know, apparently.
“And what if I tell you I’ve been in love more than once?”
“Like I said, you think you’ve been in love, but it wasn’t real. True love is with one person, and you’ll always love that person no matter what. It’s fate.”
“I can’t accept that. It’s too boring, too restricting. For me and for love.”
“That’s why you’ve never been in a relationship.”
“It’s also why I’ve never been in love huh.”
He nods in agreement, oblivious to what I’ve just said.
Maybe it’s the distance.
“Trust me on this one, there’s nothing like it and there’s no going back.”
I’m not convinced.
“Like Sarah and I are. Were.”
I realize I‘m not the one he’s trying to convince.
Heartbreak is difficult to understand, let alone take.
I know. We all know.
I want to tell my friend that he’s not alone. That love comes and goes. That loving more than one person in your lifetime doesn’t make it any less beautiful. That love gets better with experience.
That in order to find love you need to go out and get your heart broken.
I know he won’t listen.
“I’ll get back with her, you’ll see.”
If only he could.
The waiter returns with dessert. Apple pie a la mode with extra caramel sauce. The usual.
My friends face lights up as he sees it. I imagine it’s the same face he used to make when he’d see her.
“What a beauty!”
He quickly picks up his fork and takes his first bite.
“Ugh…how can it be so good?”
I wonder how many first bites he’s had. How many times he’s asked the same question.
“Have some fast before I kill it.”
I hesitate, I don’t want any.
“Common, I know you love this.”
I used to, things change.
I take a bite for his sake.
“What do you think?”
“It’s the same as always.”
I put my fork down and watch him as he indulges in the apple pie, ice cream, and caramel sauce. The usual.
He doesn’t say a word.
He’s too preoccupied.
I break the silence.
“What color would you say that sauce is?”
He looks down at the plate, then back up at me.
“What color do you think it is?”
“Okay…does that change something?”
I shake my head.
It changes everything.