I love falling in love. I was going to type that I don’t mean romantic love, but there is something romantic about falling into any kind of love. Like when you fall into friend-love and you obsess over whatever mental or physical characteristics about them have so turned your head and all you want to do is sit up chatting with them for 20 hours and crawl inside their skull and gobble up the contents of their mind. Well, that’s a pretty romanticised version of the real person going on, isn’t it?
It doesn’t last, that kind of intense romantic-friend-love, but by the time it has passed you usually have a pretty decent friend who knows you and you know that uber super well. I think those beginning days aren’t so very much different from the beginning days of boyfriend-girlfriend love, just without the pantsfeelings. Maybe rather than categorising things as romantic /aromantic love there should be further sub-categories around whether sexual feelings are involved as well. I wonder if that’s missing something too though.
Sometimes when I really fall in love with a piece of art, some pantsfeelings (stolen from Captain Awkward) get all mixed up in the fray anyway. Like teenaged me’s obsession with the band Suede and the stories and characters in the songs. I felt like I knew them so well, I felt like I’d pretty much had a relationship with them, and not even limited to a platonic one.
When I fall in love with something or someone, the closest description I’ve got for it is feeling “hungry”. That sounds kind of weird even to me when I write here. It’s not the usual time of hungry, and I don’t mean hungry in that I want to eat it up. I suppose it got mixed up in my mind when I was quite young because that strong feeling of desire was a pull I’d probably only previously experienced in relation to food. It certainly wasn’t a feeling that went anywhere close to my pants, so I couldn’t describe it as pantsfeeling or sexual or anything like that.
But what I can say for sure is that it is a feeling of being intensely alive.
It’s not a feeling that can last. For anything. Even something that has no say in the matter, even things that are so obviously and non-negotiably safe to love without anyone judging you for it: songs, books, poems, other forms of art – all of those things can wake up that spark of intense hungry desire in me. But it doesn’t last.
It can last a pretty long time, and then years later I can get a flashback of remembering what it felt like to have that awake hunger in my belly. How awesome and alive it felt.
Here are some things I remember feeling like that about: Optimus Prime and his death in the Transformers comics, The song “Let’s Take Manhatten” by Leonard Cohen, Karma Kameleon and Boy George, a little boy with black curly hair called Stephen, when I was about 3 years old, Maths at certain times, whoever it was that played Mordred in a long ago movie about Camelot when I was about 12, and maybe you, dear reader if I know you – there’s a possibility that I’ve spent some time in that hungry-alive-obsession stage about our friendship at some point in our lives.
So it fades away. For everyone and everything, and then you’re left deciding if you still really like the person or thing without obsession-desire driving your thoughts about it. I suppose this might be why people go and have affairs; some kind of quest to reactivate those hungry life-affirming feelings.
(For a moment there I was going to include polyamory, but I realise that I’ve no experience with polyamory, nor have I had the wish to engage in it, so I don’t think I can make any assertions about it – even well-flagged guesses.)
Anyway, there’s no need to have affairs to get those feelings when there are so many other ways to activate it.
So all of this is to say that we went to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi last night, and I’m currently all loved up around Kylo Ren. Because I’ve got some strange predilection for bad guys. I’d say more, I’d give lists of examples, but I’d only embarrass myself more than I already do on here.
So, it feels good to feel all intense about something, it’s life-affirming, but it’s more than a bit escapist too. Maybe it’s a good thing it passes before too long.
But in the meantime, don’t be surprised if you find me desperately seeking out a tailored black cowl.