Don’t fall in love with love. There is nothing worse than a paradox like this. Love the person, not the feeling. If you fall in love with love, it will leave you twenty times over the course of a single month, leave you bloody and begging for mercy, leave you seeping into the ground like an oil spill, the bones that once held you up and kept you strong now evaporating from your spine and ribs.
If you fall in love with love, the person you’re supposed to love instead will become the skeleton inside the skin of that love, hidden beneath the surface. You’ll notice their outline but never what fills them in. When a person becomes nothing but darkened lines and cross hatches, there’s no way they can be appreciated whole. And when you fall in love with love, it’ll already be making plans to break up with you before you even learn its first name. If you’re the hand, love is the bird that’s always trying to dive through your fingers and kiss the sunrise instead.
Love isn’t bouquets of yellow roses or chocolates that come in every shape imaginable, or holding hands and tracing the lines in someone’s palm like tree rings. Maybe that’s what love does, but that’s not what love is. Love is the building that burns down before you can find a way out. Love is a beautiful soft morning stapled over the rice paper of a pitch-black night, trying to cover up all the potholes and dusty craters reaching out to grip your ankles and pull you in. Love is the alibi for the messiest, most gruesome crime scene ever known to man and womankind, more brutal than even some seasoned detectives can handle. Love isn’t guaranteed. It’s certainly not something you’d ever want to fall for.
When you’re more in love with the feeling than the person it’s intended for, the relationship is over before it even started. If you’re more willing to get the shape of love tattooed on the insides of your eyelids than the face of the person you’re hoping to marry, that ink is going to fade faster than the tattoo artist can fill it back in. When you walk yourself down a chain of people like a police lineup, trying to choose a partner for your loneliness that you don’t even particularly care for, then you’re guilty as charged. That person’s heart could be dusted for thumbprints and the cops wouldn’t find a single one of yours lovingly smudged into the aorta. If you really loved someone, your handprints would be all over their soul.
Don’t fall in love with love. Fall in love with someone who will stand before you willing to piece every broken shard of your shattered body back together whenever life rips out your seams. Fall in love with someone whose voice would make you break the sound barrier if you could just turn it all the way up and make it dance a bass beat inside your bones. Fall in love with someone that swallows every last ounce of your breath until it rests like a pile of coins inside the wishing well of their stomach. Fall in love with someone who kisses you without training wheels and explores every peak and valley of your body without a safety harness or chalked-up gloves.
Love doesn’t care about your safety. Love doesn’t give a damn about how sometimes it hurts you so much it turns your bones inside out and doesn’t bother to zip you up again. Love doesn’t need probable cause before it breaks into your heart and plunders everything valuable stored inside its rooms. Love will keep resetting your internal organs until they’re no longer capable of interacting with one another in a functional way. Love will light candles in the pockets of your bloodstream and trick you into believing it’s about to turn on romantic music inside the record player of your lungs before blowing every wick out and leaving soot and melted wax crusted everywhere.
So don’t fall in love with love. Love is dangerous. Fall in love with the person who will scrub the broken graffiti of loneliness from the walls of your stomach and replace it with an oil painting of a future that looks so beautiful even Michelangelo couldn’t replicate it.
Love will wreck you. But the person you love will clear you from the rubble.