How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdoor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange?
Travellers at least have a choice. Those who set sail know that things will not be the same as at home. Explorers are prepared. But for us, who travel along the blood vessels, who come to the cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparation. We who were fluent find life is a foreign language.
– Jeanette Winterson
We never said, ‘I love you.’
Perhaps, it was fear. For love is but a state of mind, susceptible to an end. We believed ours was a story that would never end. What we had was more than love; somehow, we did not feel the compelling need to whisper the most unoriginal words one could ever express to a lover.
I love you, I love you, I love you. This declaration has been uttered a thousand, million, infinite times – borrowed by drowning sailors who clung onto it as a punctured life buoy, recycled by the frivolous who never once paused to contemplate its essence, or, more commonly, used by couples to fill an open, gaping hole when there was nothing left to be said – insofar as these three words have seemed to almost become exhausted of meaning, of significance.
I love you: a quotation, an adopted notion, representing a continuum along which there was a maximum, and correspondingly, a minimum. But we – we existed beyond any continuum; timeless, we followed an ever increasing exponential function that could never find an end.
I do not love you. For I more than love you. We could effortlessly tell each other, ‘I love you,’ and we indubitably do. But instead we choose to allow our words to encapsulate this very essence – the full spectrum of romantic notions from which this quotation was first conceived – in their raw, unique, and rightful manner.
“I want to let you feel it through my words,” you said, “so I have to prove it, each and every day.” And this is why I ( ) you.
– Agnes Chew