Your brain on love: “I’m an idiot”

1. I had tea with my landlady this afternoon, cooped up in her kitchen by heavy rain. After narratives about the lusty shenanigans of previous tenants, she pronounced, People your age would do anything for love! When I protested that love need not always mean folly, she said, You cannot choose whom you’d fall for. She said, This is your Brain on love: I’m an idiot, ask Heart. I laughed and laughed as she talked in that vein, for heart, I like to think I brain too much.

2. Not that I’d never lost my head (as this virtual notebook extensively documents), only that I’d lost it over, apparently, the wrong reasons and persons—i.e. not love and not loved. The Wrong Reasons include, but are not limited to:

a. Romance

    • manufactured by Cliché Cannery, Inc. and sold from the counter like an afterthought along with candy bars
    • peddled by the Beloved at a blind corner with intent to short-change
    • picked up as a souvenir instead of a postcard or handcrafted tchotchke

b. Pity

c. Curiosity

    • First base, second base, third base. Home run.
    • Does the Earth really move? (Answer: It quakes open a sinkhole for you to fall headlong into)

d. Art

    • “Artless/ is my heart/ … Gone sour in the sun,/ … Spectacular in its way,/ its way of not seeing” – Brenda Shaughnessy
    • “Because the heart, friend,/ Is a shadow, a domed dark/ Hung with remembered doings. A night feeder” – Brigit Pegeen Kelly
    • “I only said I loved you in my poetry.” – Jenny Boully

3. Once, on an island in southern Mindanao, I met a smart, lovely German woman and her Pinoy boyfriend, whose discourse was as uninteresting as his comportment and looks. She was six months pregnant with his child at the time, an unplanned event. She seemed none too happy about it, for she’d been traveling the world, and he wanted her to stay with him on that island, his home. “I feel like a cow,” she said, “but I love him.”

4. Amid the white noise of moaning from a movie scene, my arm against his leg in pitch-dark: at once too much and not enough. The movie ends. Nothing happens. He inches away. I think that I’ve had it; I’m through. But I linger.

5. Questions to which my immediate answer is “I don’t know”:

  • Where’s the charger?
  • 47 x 32?
  • Who ate the leftover tiramisu?
  • How do I start a daisy chain?
  • What do you see in him?

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