It doesn’t feel to me like love lives in twinkling eyes or thigh gaps, in peach emoji posteriors or bronzed, unaged skin.
It seems to me like love lives in a double chin that protrudes when she looks down at her cell phone to check in with her faux world.
It seems to me like love lives in his breath after it’s been laden with whiskey—cotton-mouthed and heavy.
It’s her giraffe-like gait, like she’d studied the species and copied the way it awkwardly trundles through existence.
That is where the heart has to open for the long run of it, if there is to be a long run at all.
And I worry. I worry we’ve never been further away from admiring that her left breast is bigger than the right, but only slightly. From treasuring those centimeters of differential breast tissue as evidence of a real life lived, of another person moving through space, and conflict, and cellular growth and decay.
In every generation there is an instruction on the normative standard of beauty and behavior, but has it ever been so downright addictive?
I have sat and scrolled for hours too. I have found hits of bliss in an unending highway of female bodies of my preference, juxtaposed by beaches both near and far. I have sought transcendence from the mundane as I watched old lovers, friends, and strangers hand over their micro validations of my identity in the form of tiny digital hearts.
But where do I go for my heart to open? For the long run of it?
And how much worse if you plan to live by the bounty of your creative expression? For now not only does the ego rise and fall by the stroke of the digital herd, grazing and chewing its cud of approval across the globe, but your bank account with it.
When we have all become influencers, who is left to be influenced?
It doesn’t seem to me that love lives in branding.
It seems to me like love lives in the sweat stains of your partner’s crumpled dress shirt after a long day and the goopy makeup tears of an uncomfortable interaction. It lives in the 103-degree fever Tylenol delivery. In the I-can-barely-leave-my-bed commiseration. In the “maybe I can’t change this, just not yet, or today.”
That seems to me a house worth building, for whatever love might really be.
Author: David Carrico
Image: Author’s Own; Mateus Lunardi Dutra/Flickr
Editor: Catherine Monkman