The only time I would ever admit to being a hopeless romantic would be during times spent straddling vodka cranberries while dressed in sundresses as softly pink as the allusion of love, which is a scene I prefer left unperformed.
In the third grade, I had a crush on a boy named Brice. His hair was like copper painted cotton balls and he was passionate about hyper-exaggerating his German heritage, being the most victorious Battleship opponent and reminding everyone about his peanut allergy during snack time. I swooned each time he offered me a piece of Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum.
Together, we established an anti-Barney society, which I pretended to be super impassioned by although I secretly loved the purple and green dinosaur with all of my heart.
When he found out about my crush while we were finger painting dragons and munching on gummy bears from under the classroom’s table, I had my mom keep me home from school for the following day because I was too devastated to face the continuity of his rejection.
During the spring trimester of my senior year of high school, I was illogically infatuated with a dude.
He was a young agnostic attending an all-boys Catholic school who operated his own lawn mowing service and was pressured by his mother to keep playing junior varsity football.
We never loved each other, but I really enjoyed kissing him despite both of us feeling slightly guilty afterward. He knew how to call me by my SoundCloud rapper name in the most perfect manner and recognized my favorite compliments were all centered on the high probability of me taking over the world.
He’d serve me glasses of ice cubes and Coca Cola while I watched Wolf Blitzer on CNN. I’d lay down across his lap and talk about my vigorous love for Bernie Sanders while he favorited photographs of blonde bombshells on social media.
He didn’t believe in love because all of those therapy sessions following his parents’ divorce were a little too unbearable for a ten year-old, and I stopped believing in love after too many conversations with my dad over-analyzing the “what if?” in regards to if he still had his own life to live.
Whenever I think about romantic love, I think about the 1981 Rolling Stone Magazine cover of John Lennon straddling his partner and multimedia artist Yoko Ono. Ono is positioned elegantly against the floor, emitting divinity in a black sweater and the type of smile one can only possess after reaching nirvana.
Lennon, co-founder of the Beatles and the face taped to every one of my bedroom walls since the eighth grade, is naked and projects vulnerability. The image provides in order to place Ono on the pedestal he desires most for her, he must be stripped away of his powers as a musical god.
I’ve realized I am terrified of romantic love because it must involve me sacrificing my power for someone else, despite there being no guaranteed such offers will be made in return.
The single time I ever fell in love, I was drowning in the insecurities I never thought I possessed.
I gave my power to someone who managed to appear in the type of tarnished moment when a free spirit realizes she wasn’t nomadic enough to escape her Midwestern reality. My daisy crown, once belonging to an over privileged groove princess was crumbled beneath bare feet and Electric Forest Festival tickets were replaced with working shifts at Old Navy.
But falling for someone made my skin almost immune to the glass slivers and shards of the unfulfilled expectations I had for my life.
The experience taught me the most vivid and dangerous form of exposure is that of the soul.
For one individual, I was no longer the wild dancer in over-the-top jewelry or the California dreamer groundlessly in love with life. He deconstructed me like origami, transforming a once intricate design to crippled paper. While others saw me as a Coachella mirage of stimulating yellow and rose gold, he saw the shades of grey I made a habit of ignoring.
The lost of my power has taken form into new exhibitions and love has been engineered into the type of hatred that makes me want to bury myself in a sea of blankets, drowning in a much more comfortable realm of self-issued ignorance.
In conclusion, I am left with a question: if love is supposed to be the closest thing the world has to magic, then why does it presents itself to me as a black abyss capable of even breaking up the Beatles?