LOVE FOR BEGINNERS

Letters by Kenny Mah

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The stars are us

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July 24, 2008


Hey you,


You are Venus and I am Mars. Is it true, then, those who love must be at war? These aren’t tantrums, this isn’t combat — we have no battle wounds but I fear it all scars just the same. We’re only human, after all.

Some joke delivered poorly, some shift in the wind, and it blows us the wrong way, we are thrown back in the fray. The silence is like a dull knife, deafening in its steady slice. Why do we always hurt the ones we love? I have had some practice, I have learned my lessons, except the most important one, the simplest wisdom: We can’t avoid this. We will always hurt the ones we love. We will always hurt.

These things we say, they are only words and words are meaningless. They are nothing. These things we say, they are all words and words are meaning. They are everything.

These rare (but rapidly regular) incidents of minor disagreements, of misunderstood disappointments, they creep up on us like misled malice, like thieves hitting the wrong jobs; we are always taken unawares. My fear is that one day it will be too much for one of us or both, and all this magic will end. We will cease and separate and return to dust. We don’t want to be alone again, not after having been together, not after having being One, but can we help this?

We will always hurt the ones we love. These things we say, they are everything.

How do you banish heartache from your heart? (The same way, one would assume, one hopes to forgo breathing from one’s life.)

I am Venus and you are Mars. We can choose to see our mistakes and our mis-steps. We’ve both scars enough, time to let go and let heal. We’re human, after all, and we can learn.

We’d be fools to not see what we have: a pretty near perfect thing going here. Let us be grateful for what we have: good fortune to wake up each morning in each other’s arms, to wash and break fast together, to come home to dinner we make together, to watch good films and read good stories (your Chinese fantasy novels and my damn American comics), to wash again and close the day, slipping under the covers, sealing the night with a tender kiss, ready to dream of the morning when we will do this all over again.

We can’t avoid this. We will always hurt the ones we love. We will always hurt. That’s okay. What matters is that we love each other, that we continue to do so, that we show it in every moment, from us exchanging quiet tasks like me cooking for you when you come back late or you surprising me by making the bed when I’m not looking. We never forget to be kind to each other. Love is a verb, they say, not just a feeling. Feelings come and feelings go. If we love each other, that goes on forever.

These things we say, they are nothing. Even when we are mad at each other for the smallest stupid stupid thing, we love in the silences. Let these little spats be our love as Fury, let them never be cold, never harsh. We shan’t be afraid, or be afraid but have this fear be good, for we want what we are together enough not to take it for granted. We shall cease and return to dust, but we won’t separate, not us. We won’t banish heartache from our hearts; we’ll bear it not as a burden but as proof that we are alive still and always, always in love.

So. Let’s fight. Let’s be childish and not talk to each other. Let’s take turns at crumbling first and then succumbing to a smirk, then a giggle, tickling the other in a silly concession of defeat, let us kiss and make up and fuck! let’s make love, let’s remind ourselves we are alive and in love and what a blessed thing this is. The stars are us and damn if we don’t shine till them heavens burst!


Yours always and always,
K.




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