And she said, “Talk in straight lines,” as guidance to the conversation.
He was playing with words, as usual, but saying things no less direct than any other time.
To say something meaningful to her, he might have said, “I love you.”
But he could think of nothing less direct than that.
A phrase tangled in smoke, gummed-eyes, subjectivity and mis-meaning.
It could be that the lovely contrast of tan to white skin just to the left of her equally lovely hip bone was what he loved. But it wasn’t.
That was something that fueled a hormone rush starting with his eyes and then pushing delightful urgency throughout his limbs.
If he said it like that, she’d say he was indirect.
But that was that particular it. It wasn’t love, but it might be some chunk of the whole.
And when she said, “I’m nobody,” in a calm, revealing and reassuring voice, he thought he might love that.
But since when was ‘nobody’ a ‘you’ in the phrase “I love you?”
How could a fleeting thought from an animated soul be something captured directly?
And what a complicated, indirect idea, this love.
On one level, in the language of culture, the idea sparks a narrative of a shepherd man wandering the Middle East begging people to look closely at their surroundings, their thoughts and each other.
Could anything be more confusing?
“I love you” . . . so spin up a thousand love songs, dredge up your thoughts about mother, and God forbid bring in the topic of love making.
Since when does a biological directive designed to avoid parasites on earth by varying DNA combinations amount to an act of directness?
What could be more indirect?
How is replication reformulated into a religion, a spirituality, a story, a coupling narrative, a symphony of emotion?
And he could try to be direct by saying “I love you” as something akin to his feeling toward his children.
“I love and protect the extensions of me.”
But why not just boil that down to “I love the self and all that comes forth from it – and hence you.”
But what’s more confusing than that?
A more direct idea would be to say, “I feel and see things that please me, and you are one.”
Leave the quagmire of love out of it.
Any clean truth would avoid the doublespeak altogether.
So no, I don’t love you.
I’m just enchanted with 10,000 things about you.
How’s that for straight lines?
If reduced further, like a pot of sugar going down to a syrup, ingredients like you, me, please and one could be neatly rolled into a concept like awake – awareness.
And finally, the most direct thing he could possibly say is “I am,” and “you are.”