I think it’s great for two people to be together. That is a good number. I think, that to keep it alive though, you can’t spend every day together. It wears out the magic, Love means nothing to me if it’s not fortified with fierce, painful longing, brief explosive instances of furious passion and intimacy and then a sad parting for a time. In that way, you can give your life to it and still have a life of your own. I think some couples spend too much time together. They flatten out the potential for experience by constant closeness. Passion builds over time like steam. Let it rage until it’s exhausted and then leave it alone to let it build up again. Why can’t love be insane and distorted? How can it be vital if it has the same threshold as normal day-to-day experience? Why can’t you write burning letters and let your nocturnal self smolder with desire for one who is not there? Why not let the days before you see her be excruciating and ferment in your mind so on the day you go to the airport to pick her up, you’re nearly sick with anticipation? And then when desire shows the first sign of contentment, throw it back it its cage and let it slowly build itself back into a state of starved fury. Then when you are together, it all matters. So that when you look into her eyes, you lose your balance, so that when she touches you, it feels like you have never been touched before. When she says your name, you think it was she who named you. When she has gone, you bury your face in the pillow to smell her hair and you lie awake at night remembering your face in her neck, her breathing and the amazing smell of her skin. Your eyes go wet because you want her so bad and miss her so much. Now that is worth the miles and the time. That matches the inferno of life. Otherwise you poison each other with your presence day after day as you drag each other through the inevitable mundane aspects of your lives. That is the slow death that I see slapped on faces everywhere I go. It’s part of the world’s sadness that’s more empty than cold, poorly lit rooms in cities of the American night.
I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.
I know I’ve reblogged this before, but it bears re-reblogging (?). This is how you respond to abuse, this is how you give people control over their bodies/uteruses, this is how you act as a generally non-judgmental and compassionate person. I love this story so fucking much.