There is a great picture of me and my main dude rolling around, and I love it. we're all sunshine and smiles, and we look like us. Attractive, happy versions of us. It is the ideal picture, and we look like our ideal, happy selves. We look in love.
He even has his arm around me. It is not resting there flacid, nor is it gripping me, it is just holding me, firm yet gentle. I keep looking at the image of that strong hand holding my arm, and it occurs to me.
My last dude gripped my arm like the last damn life line in every old picture of us.
Squeezing my arm fat into a second arm sometimes, it often photographed like a painful grab, like I should be left with claw marks on my arm. It always bothered aesthetically, but I never though much about the subtle, meta-implications until now. There was need, hunger, and desperation in that arm grab. Love, sure, but a crazy, wild love that could be driven to madness...
Which, in the autopsy of the relationship, proved to be accurate. The ex wanted to possess and control, it was the kind of love that made me crazy slowly and completely.
Now, I look at this happy restful embrace and I see the contrast between it and the desperate grip of a person who needed control. It is a lesson, and a metaphor. Love it not meant to be gripping, grabbing, hungry or aggressive. It is supportive, it is warm, it holds with out crushing or distending.
Read Rilke, ladies and gents, and then come talk to me.