Life

ROCK CANDY AGAINST BICUSPIDS

I think that I would like to be in love. I think it would be a nice feeling.

When I think of love, I think of crunching hard rock candy between my teeth. The snap of diamonds against each other, sugar melting on my tongue, gritty against the bitten and worried skin behind my lower lip.

I was saying to someone the other day that movies on the first date are never a good idea, and it struck me that I’ve now been on two first dates that had movies. The guy I was talking to asked, “How did they end up?” and I answered, “Well, I’m still single, so not great.” And that made me sad because it felt like I was reducing those dates to just passes or fails.

I’ve never been in love. And most days I’m okay with that, because most days I’m just scrolling through Twitter trying to think of dairy puns. It’s dairy tiring. I’m sorry. And if I was close to falling in love, I think I would skitter away like a spooked horse.

I’ve noticed that I compare myself and place a lot of metaphors in equine/deer animals, and I don’t know why that is. Just kidding, I know why that is. I like the awkward stilt of animals like that, animals that don’t slink or slip but clomp and jump and leap. And I feel like I’m much more of a clomper and jumper and leaper.

I had a dream the other night about a boy that I went on a not date with. In the not date, which was a date, we never mentioned the word “date” and so we hovered in limbo. Anyway, he just had a cameo in my dream and said “Hi,” but in that disconcertingly cheerful way of his that makes me uncomfortable because no one should ever be that happy to see me.

And maybe that’s why I shied away from him. He seemed too enthusiastic and too eager, and I’m used to chasing people. I asked out the same boy three times, and was rejected three times. I asked someone out in a moving car and he didn’t answer and we had to keep driving. And I don’t think I would date this boy, but he just reminded me of coffee foam on crooked teeth and the narrow clink of cups against saucers.

And I would like to be in love, but I don’t think I am built for it. I am calcium-love deficient, and my frame would crack and bend under the pressure. I am too spiny, too thorny, without soft flesh for cradling the blow. I am all angles and upturned jaw and teeth. I think love is the cracking of rock candy against porcelain bicuspids, the shattering and melting of hexagonal sugar that is gritty against the bitten and worried tender inner skin of my bottom lip.

Love seems weird because I feel like we all know what love is as an objective but I can’t take the next step and picture myself in it. It’s like reading the description of a roller coaster in a textbook. I can imagine the loops and the drops but I can’t imagine what they feel like. It’s like reading the texts of your friends. I always read them in my voice, and it takes a second for me to be able to hear it in theirs.

I know that I’m young, and that my friends are young, and that we’re all these loveless, lovelorn, fledgling birds. I don’t think I really know anyone in love.

But I think I would like love—objectively. I think I like it as a location, a place to exist within, like you’re literally in love, but I don’t like the idea of what leads up to it, the messy, the vulnerable, the stumbling steps.

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