I Love You but I’m not in Love with You
October 14, 2009
Senses are heightened when we’re in love. Skin is caress-ready and blissed out by the gentlest breeze. Coffee smells rich and full. Wine tastes of the vineyards and sunshine that nourished it. Everyone and everything is interesting. Light dances and glints, darkness embraces.
I love my children more than life – why is it then that morning coffee has become a ritual which passes unnoticed until I come across my unwashed cup?
In a flush of love I used to plan my shopping trips according to who sold the plumpest, reddest tomatoes, the most aromatic basil. Now I plan my excursions like a join-the-dots game of who has the cleanest toilets and baby-changing facilities.
Light has become a thing of absolutes – harsh strip lighting of supermarkets or a black-out zone of tiptoe territory after bedtime. The sun touching the arch-backed mountain across the valley is not an indicator to reach for the corkscrew and regroup on the terrace for a glass of chilled rose. It is the starting gun to get the bath running, put the dinner on and disentangle the knot of squabbling, grimy children.
I used to remember everything. The curve of the hollow between collar bones AND the ever-so-slight kiss of shadow it contained. I sometimes hurriedly answer the telephone now and only just differentiate the voice of my own mother from that of a telemarketer.
I used to spend ages deciding what to wear. Ha! Now that is at once easier and more difficult. Easier: “What do I have that is clean AND ironed?” and more difficult: “What do I have that is clean AND ironed?”
I love you but I’m not in love with you. This love is something raw and primal. It is grubby and sticky and has given me a strong stomach. It smells of just-bathed baby and sweaty small child scalp. It is the glint of sunlight off one perfect curl. It has heightened all my senses on a permanent basis. It has sharpened my claws and softened my curves. I am not in love with you because that would place you outside my innermost circle. You are. I am. I am because You Are.