I haven’t said the words I love you in over two years, when my last serious, monogamous relationship ended. Droppin’ the l-word used to be routine for me. I’d meet a man who I thought was interesting. We would go on a date. Then we would go another date. Then we would copulate. Then we would copulate again and again and again until interest turned into like which turned into love. Then one day love would come to an end and I would repeat this cycle with another man who I found interesting.
But that process was interrupted by my need to know what being totally on my own felt like. I decided to pursue singledom for 24 months straight in order to reignite my identity. Prior to my freelovin’ period of recent days I had been attached to three boyfriends in a row. I lost my virginity at 21-years-old to my first paramour thus I had only known what it was like to metaphorically tango with an individual who I was quite familiar with.
Someone who I dedicated several hours a week to watching television beside. Someone who eventually met my family and ate turkey near them and listened to their nonsensical stories about past family-turkey-eating events. Someone who meant more to me than a penis I saw one time in a place I can’t remember. Someone’s whose face I had not chosen to forget.
There has been a great deal of choosing to forget in my casual sexual journey. Spontaneous short-lived fornicating was sometimes enjoyable and sometimes the opposite of enjoyable. There are many awkward thrusts and empty chats that I would rather not recall. Weather was often a hot topic of conversation as the used condom was being delivered into the trash.
I found that most of my non-committed intercourse with folks I was not quite familiar with lacked intimacy. I stopped feeling my feels at a certain point and lost interest in all men. A distance developed between my naked body and the naked bodies of the random people I rubbed skins with. Then a distance developed between my body on dates and the dating bodies of the random people I drank beers with. Then a distance developed between my Facebook body and the Facebook body of the random people I was arranging romance with.
I was forgetting more than what I was choosing to rather not recall. I was forgetting what it felt like to not be on my own. To want to text someone about television I had watched. To orgasm with a human I could have non-weather conversations with. To feel nervous about a coitus partner meeting my turkey-eating-family. I was lacking more than intimacy. I was lacking the desire to be intimate. And I wondered, would I even be able of turning interest into like and into love ever again? The idea of such a process perplexed my numb self. I worried that I allowed that ability to wander so far into the distance that there was no possibility of it returning. It was a routine that was no longer routine for me. I accepted my fate of non-intimacy and came to terms with the fact that my l-word dropping days were behind me.
That is until a person from my past reentered my life. Someone who I was quite familiar with. Someone whose face I did not want to forget. Someone who I did desire to eat turkey near and watch TV beside. Someone who lived far away but whose naked body was visiting my naked body for a while. Then suddenly, renewed interest turned into new like which turned into¦ something else. I realized in that moment that I hadn’t forgotten how to love. I had forgotten that I couldn’t force love. It never wanders so far that it cannot return. It merely arrives in its own time. It might be a process but there is absolutely nothing routine about it.