It took me a while to realize I don’t understand love. I don’t understand myself much either.
Only a week or two ago we were at the beach, floating serenely in the cool ocean. And as we held hands to make sure we didn’t drift apart, I felt that grand feeling where nothing could ever decay. No other moment could possibly bring me down. We were immaculate.
But at some point last night I was amazed at how incredibly empty I felt. What was I doing there? What would I prefer to be doing? I suppose I would rather have been sleeping, but what an odd thing to think with someone so lovely in your arms. Even if I wished I was home asleep, even if you felt like a stranger, I was a bit too content in my position holding you to feel like moving.
But I was scared by the void, which at least means I’m not completely lost. The heart I have left hurt for you, your breath rising and falling so peacefully against me, unaware of the turmoil you clung to.
So I clung to you, this reminder of my humanity and my existence. I held you closer to me and you reciprocated, pulling yourself closer and nestling your head closer under mine.
It reminded me that I didn’t just come to you because of my feelings, but because of yours as well. It will take me a while to understand what you see in me, no matter how far I’ve come in seeing myself as someone desirable, but I relinquish my control and accept your fondness. What sort of hollow, creaking thuds do you hear when you lay your head on my chest? “I can’t grow a new heart,” said Courtney Michelle. But mine sits with all of the giveaways and throw-outs and donations in this dusty junk shop and if you’re that interested in taking it home I can sneak a discount. It’s the least I could do for a sweet young man like yourself.
I tried to protect you from the sour air of my conscience by holding you as close as a real boy could be held, and you embraced me in every sense of the word. Maybe you’re afraid as well. Maybe you believe I’ll protect you from the grief in the center of your heart. I’d certainly be willing to risk myself to keep you safe. Maybe you’re already at peace, gentle and warm and cradled in the idea that someone very special loves you.
And I suppose it would be impossible to bask in someone’s love if there was no heart in that person to supply love.
So I suppose you’ve proven that I do have a heart.
Thank you, Billy.