One morning as I was walking back from a friend’s apartment to my bed I began to think. The night had been wild and yet uneventful, and it was now six in the morning and I was all alone on my campus – just walking through the North Carolina fog that hazed the air just enough to make me forget that I was intoxicated. At the time I was thinking about a girl, as is often the case in my life, and thinking about emotional attachment. I never expected my introspection to yield the results it did.
After being awake for nearly twenty-four hours and being intoxicated for over half of it, my mind was not in a very good place. I began to think of a girl that I had a serious liking to, but was unsure of both my feelings as well as how to express them. My entire life, I have been able to communicate well with the outside world. I write, I talk, I even like to think I can have a “presence” in a room. Most people would not put “Joseph Fritz” and “non-vocal” in the same sentence. But, as I walked though the haze of my dirty ghetto, I began to wonder more about what my brain thought than what my mouth spoke.
Rarely do people say how they feel. And if they do, it’s almost always an exaggeration or a simplification of what is real. I try to speak my mind, and I like to think I’m successful at it, but this quiet morning made me think otherwise. Dangerously, I began to tread into my psyche to try and find some meaning to the words I had once spoken. The most prominent was the word love.
If I could find a four-letter word that I despise, that word would be love. Inherently, love is like any other emotion – it always hurts, never helps. Unfortunately, love has an advantage over all emotions except one, which I will delve into later. Love is uncontrollable. There’s a reason people call it “falling in and out of love,” for it truly is accidental and usually results in various injuries.
I have loved many people and many things in my life. With pride and angst I admit that I have been in love a few times, each resulting in serious emotional pain and scarring. People say that time heals these wounds, but that is only because those people have no other explanation for what love is and are forced to chronologically organize it. So I heal myself. Lots of thinking is the real key factor; the goal being to find out why one is what one is. Few ever really do know themselves, especially when in college. Sex gets confused with love and love gets confused with friendship. In the end, there is no elucidation for how to heal or how to love – one just does it.
Only one other emotion is this way, and that emotion is hate. The reason for this is that love and hate are essentially the same emotion. There’s a reason that after a break up the most commonly heard words are “I hate,” when often words and feelings of love flowed freely moments before. Both love and hate are (usually) irrational, uncontrollable, intense, and emotionally draining passions. They’re also two emotions that one can live on. When a person is in love, that person needs nothing except that love. I know this because I have been in love, been close to starving, been going into drug relapse, and still all I wanted was to be with the woman I love. People live on hate as well, living just for vengeance or odium for the world.
The real question is, what does it all mean? It means this: you can control your mind, you can control your physical being, but you can’t control your feelings. Especially love and hate. In the end, both are cruel demons that take a person on an incredible journey that promises to yield wonderful results, and yet usually results in sorrow. I know this: moments of sorrow outrank moments of elation in my life by a large margin, but despite this I never regret loving. I just wait for the next wave to hit me and for the demons of my heart to lead me on yet another voyage.
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