The Twelfth of June (On Capitalism, Love and Things in between)
It wasn’t until my early 20s I started to associate love with fear anyway. I had, until then, the tenants of family love which was always warm, never frightening, the exchange entirely euphoric, requiring nothing from me that I couldn’t provide so easily. But love outside of family is more difficult, available to me in fear for reasons I am only starting to identify.
Perhaps it is because I have always identified myself with the alone. I am one for whom company is myself. I talk to myself all the time and find moments extremely hilarious, for which I respond to, outwardly laughing over this joke I’d just told myself, and anyone around me cannot help but shake their head to; regard me with the patronising look reserved for the socially awkward. I did of course consider the idea that I might be socially awkward but not with any great consequence, nothing in me moved to change that concept even if it were true.
But therein is my fear of that brand of desire that births love: the arrival of change. That, for so long, I’d been doing all these things alone. That I do things alone. That I had been making sense of myself, alone. I mean, I can be happy alone. I can be sad alone. I can dance alone. I can be upset alone. But I cannot desire by myself, cannot quite activate the agencies of love without another’s presence. Desire is a feeling that by nature involves another subject, and that arrival creates quite an extraordinary experience for me - for anyone -, its intricacies largely unknown, constantly being reshaped. What am I losing of myself?
Anyway, early this morning I was writing to a friend whose life has just been punctured by the loss of love. Remember when we thought all we needed to fall in love was to grow up, to grow older. Or be in college. Or get a meaningful job. And next thing you’re in your 20s, attempting to survive an ambitious, capitalist society where you are enthusiastically encouraged to follow your own best interests all the time, to live your best life. And then you are doing all these things only to then be disrupted by desire, this maddening need to protect another, to think of them quite cleanly as you do of yourself, to rebuke the thoughts of harming them.
It’s perhaps why we have increasing difficulty in sustaining relationships, because our souls wrestle with market logic. Both systems are at odds- the one where you are building your best life and the one for which that best life involves quite frankly, the betterment of another to their soul’s satisfaction, to the rioting of joy in the cage of their body. How then do you reconcile? We cannot be independent of the society we exist in.
It is very discomforting to desire, I tell my friend. Desire disrupts the patterns of my life, I confess, too. Whenever I start to feel as though someone else’s wellness is quite as equal in importance as mine is and feel, in addition, responsible for that wellness too, there is a shift in my fundamentals. I am fearful of needing. Though sometimes I am not scared by the feeling and other times I am. And isn’t it true, that most of our history with desire anyway is wanting things that eventually wont hold us together.
My friend seems, temporarily, displaced in the world, unfed, swollen eyes, unsure of what day of the week it is even.
“Why are you not even at work? Is it Saturday?”, they ask me.
And because I have been there - this place of nonrecognition of both self and world, a state of unhurried living -, I tell them with no hesitation that no, today is not a Saturday, that today is Wednesday the twelfth of June, and that their heart will heal, but not today, not the twelfth of June but someday.