This Is How You Love Her (From A Man Who Lost Her)

Photo: Serge Bielanko
love stories breakup
Heartbreak, Love

She can throw you off of a skyscraper with a single bolt stare. And so she damn sure does.

You drive your car faster than you should, your heart eating through your ribs, your anger splashing up on the banks of all the lust in your bones.

Oh, you poor bastard. This is what it means to really love her. This is how it goes. This racing down the road all pissed off because she makes you crazy behind your face, behind your chest. There is no other way.

Forget what else you've read, or what you think you may have seen at some point with your own two eyes. There is no fairytale. The happiest couples you run into out in the world are just caught in a moment. They're simply passing through a perfect hour or so. Don't mistake it for forever.

Nothing is forever. Love comes and goes.

She has you by the balls. She has you by the soul. You think you are so on top of things but you live beneath the rubble of a trillion love affairs that have come before you two. And so this is how you love her. By always wondering if you're doing it right. By moving through that never-ending storm of uncertainty.

You end up loving her by trying to convince yourself you don't love her at times. You're such a fool. But so am I. That's what makes us so beautiful in a way. We have no idea how to love her.

But we do it anyway.


Have you ever wondered how many more nights she will love you back? I have. Or I did, anyway. There is a shelf life to all this love stuff and there's not much you can do about. People run out of time. Or steam. They get careless and lazy and bored. Lovers confuse reticence with stability, or with contentment.

This is how you love her. This is how I loved/half-loved her. And then this is how you lost her.


There aren't enough days left in the history of the world for you or me to learn the real ropes here, and that's a shame. The truth of the matter is that each of our evenings together — each time you walk into the kitchen and maybe pour yourself a beer or grab a handful of almonds out of the jar above the microwave — is another chance for her to turn around slowly/see you for the first time in a long time/and decide, right then and there, that you are not who she is supposed to be with any longer.

So you need to keep your brain alert. You need to make this evening count. Remember when you tried so hard to make the evening count? 

I remember when I did. Then I recall sliding away from all that. Or actually, I don't recall it at all. It just happens; these things do. So then, this is how you love her. In a constant state of lethargy. Or a constant funk of fear. 

Or... you become this badass Superhero of Love, always checking yourself, always reminding yourself, always thinking to yourself that there ways you could do better. Mini-market flowers? You pick 'em up. Dinner unexpected? You make it. Foot rubs at dusk? Look at you go. Listening, listening, listening, really f*cking hearing what she's saying? Look at you go!

You're young and you're stupid; you walk right off a million romantic cliffs. But you catch yourself and you learn to land. She makes you mental, coming at you from all angles at once, machine gun logic and dark witchcraft, and you are hurled through walls and windows because she is a woman and she knows you're as light as autumn leaves. 

She can throw you off of a skyscraper with a single bolt stare. And so she damn sure does. 

You come through the backdoor all disheveled and upset. You're so mixed-up and need to tell her stuff. What she means to you. What you hope for her. What you hope for the two of you as one.

You get your ass handed to you on a picnic paper plate? And you never want it to end? This is how you love her. THIS, amigo, is how you keep her.


Suffer through the worst parts of love by trying to dig them for what they're worth. Pain is lovely in a way. It builds character. Pain from loving someone hard and right, as opposed to long and wrong. That's the kind of pain you grow from.

It never ends, though, so don't start thinking there's some kind of bullsh*t light at the end of the tunnel or whatever horsecrap you keep telling yourself. 

If you truly want to love someone, to love HER forever and see how that feels, and look up into HER eyes as you take your final breaths someday before long, the young hospice nurses texting their boyfriends about Friday night plans over in the corner as you slowly fade to black, seeing HER holding your hand, feel HER tears plopping down on your final moments in your tired, old skin, then you are my kind of motherf*cker. 

You want to love her and keep her and agree to never really understand her, but who cares because you made it to the end where no one makes it anymore but you two did?

You want to know how majestic it feels to die and to live on at the exact same moment? You want to know what it might be like to really really love her? Like you know you do, but you've been lying to yourself? 

Then you better start today, or tonight at the very latest. All of it at once, like a landslide crushing. The flowers and the dinner or whatever, that's just the start. Tomorrow, for a solid minute or so, she's probably going to be thinking about leaving you forever.

It is what it is. Grab the sun out the sky. Change the course of history. Make something out of yourself once and for all. Throw yourself at her with the subtle, gentle quickness. And never, ever stop until you see the hospice gang put their phones back in their pockets, out of respect for you. And her. Then revel in what you did, what you accomplished.

That was how you loved her. And that was why she cried so hard when your weakest grip went slack. 

Or none of the above, fool. Live and learn. 



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