Thursday, July 22, 2004

Love Stories

I've heard a lot of love stories lately. I've read them, listened to them, seen them in a movie, and watched them unfold. The soundtrack to all of this has been the three volume set of 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields, an ambitious project in it's own right. Last night, I watched State and Main, a movie about love, purity, and second chances. Today, I got a package from the girl I love. Inside was a present wrapped in Christmas paper. Inside that was a white shirt from the GAP, a picture, a receipt, and wrinkled piece of computer paper written on with green magic marker. I liked the wrapping paper, the shirt, the picture, and even the receipt. But the thing I loved was the way the green writing got bigger as it went, and ended with the same lopsided heart that's makes its way onto whatever she touches. But this post isn't about me. Nor is it about love. It's about love stories.

I talked with MK today, about crying at movies. Maybe not crying, but just, you know, tearing up a bit, as he put it.  Weeping like a baby, as I put it. Why do we cry at love stories? Why do we cry at stories at all? Do we cry because we are so sad or happy for the characters we follow on-screen or on the page? We may. But then why is it that we can go years, seeing the most touching emotional movies, not shedding a tear, and then, for some reason, a certain moment, or song, or look, or word, can wet those long-dry cheeks? Do we really cry for the characters' story, or do we cry for ours? Do we want what they have? Do we remember what we had? Do we imagine that someday, in some place, with someone, and some time, we will be there, with that song, and that feeling, and it will be that perfect? Or, do we just imagine that - only to then realize its impossibility. We are not them, their story is not ours; so we cannot have their perfect moment. Is that why we cry? I like to believe that we cry when we see a story that we want to be ours, and it gives us hope, and that makes us happy, and we cry. Not all tears are that kind though, and not all stories have happy endings. Some tears are not happy, but all tears have stories.

I wrote a love story; it's in a song. It's about a boy and a girl - but it doesn't have to be. The story has a beginning, when they are born, a middle, when everything happens, and an ending, when they die. In between, many things happen - there is pain, joy, pleasure, excitement, and anger. I've tried to live the story, but I keep losing my place. I've tried to sing the story, but it doesn't have any words. It only has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Right now is the middle. It is easy to dwell on the ending and wish for a new beginning, but, Margaret says, "true connoisseurs, however, are known to favor the stretch in between, since it's the hardest to do anything with".

2 comments:

mindovermatter said...

I like it. I watched a pretty good love story last weekend.

scribbs said...

As an addition to my own posts, I just read this in Great Expectations:

"Heaven knows we need not be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before - more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle. If I had cried before, I should have had Joe with me then."