I was sent a challenge by a friend of mine – get sufficiently inebriated and then do some creative writing. I am going to answer his challenge, and put forth the challenge to all of you. I’ve already gone through a Mike’s and two glasses of rum and coke. Working on another Mike’s. Feeling it nipping at me. Will continue to drink while writing. Here’s hoping that this doesn’t suck. I put forth the challenge to all of you – do some creative writing while drunk. Post a link to it in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
“Cuz, what is love? I mean, to you?”
What a strange question to come out of left field. Especially considering who it was coming from. Still, he couldn’t help but feel the need to answer. After all, this was one of the great philosophical questions that plagued the human race since the dawn of culture. Since the time when humanity could look inward and wonder what it all meant. Now, he was pondering this question, as he sat and folded laundry. What a peculiar position to be put in.
“Honestly, I don’t think that I can answer that question in a way that makes sense. I mean, seriously, who does have an answer to that question? Is love what you feel when you are absolutely enamored with a person? If so, then we’ve all been in love with some gorgeous person we see on the subway. Is love being willing to take a bullet for somebody? That seems kinda abstract. Is love when you feel a connection to a person to makes being away from them painful? Then love is just those first few months of a relationship. Oh, sure, people say that they never lose that feeling, but that’s bullshit. So really, who can define love? It is the greatest mystery to ever be, aside from what happens to the mind after death.”
This answer didn’t please her. She gave him a grumpy face and leaned back. A cool draft blew in from the window beside the bed she was sitting on, and where he was folding clothes. It was a gorgeous day, right at the beginning of when summer was arriving. Life was returning to the land.
Seeing her discontent, he decided to look at it another way. “Though, I suppose it all comes down to how you see it. What is love, to you?”
The ball was in her court. She bit the end of her thumb softly as she thought. “I’m not sure. I suppose that it means a point when how the person you feel this for’s emotions and attachments mean more to you than how you feel. Like, when they’re happy, you’re happy, you know?”
He smiled at her. “An interesting definition. Which goes to my point about how abstract love is. In the end, there is no wrong answer. All answers are right or wrong, based on how you see things. That’s the beauty of what love means. It is powerful force that means so much to so many people. It has people get into debates and have strong convictions. Look at us, talking about this while I’m folding my boxers. Now that is a powerful concept!”
Both of them got a laugh, at this. They sat there, listening to soft music. The young man’s taste went toward softer tunes, that left the heart full of content. Between the two of them, not much needed to be said.
Then, his cousin looked up at him. “Alright, if love is too abstract to truly define, then what about marriage? Or being a parent?”
“Ah, now that is trickier! Because, you see, every culture sees things different. Look at the debates over whether or not gays should be allowed to marry. There, two sides are firm in their convictions that they are right, and the other viewpoint is wrong. Yet, throughout history, neither point truly has stayed consistently solid. It changes from eon to eon. That goes to another point that I have when talking to people about the gay marriage debate – no way is truly right or truly wrong. It’s all a matter of perspective. And history’s perspective is not set in stone. Just because a culture progresses does not mean that it moves forward. Sometimes, it tangents or goes backwards. Nothing is truly for the best or the worst. It’s all open to interpretation.”
Another look of confusion. “But, isn’t the argument that gay marriage is a thing in so many countries, which people use as a point that America is being left behind by the global culture at large?”
He chuckled. “Oh, indeed. But, that is neither right or wrong. Remember – it hasn’t always been that way in other countries. But then, you go back further, and it was. Change is part of history. Are we to judge any nation by the current attitude, when attitudes have been in flux all throughout history?”
A nod. “That makes sense. So, I guess that parenting is much the same, right? I mean, you had tribes who raised children together, without much communal central family, and communities that had almost no contact with other members, keeping to themselves.”
“Correct! No perspective on history is absolute.” He gave her a sly look. “Let’s talk about something REALLY risque, in history – Nazis!”
The look on her face immediately got tense.
“Don’t worry, I mean not to condone them. Nor condemn. Not outright. See, there were plenty of people in Germany at that time, who believed that the Nazis were wrong. They were afraid to speak up. Because the thing that had gotten them to the point where the Nazi party took power was an egregious treaty that left Germany dealing with the brunt of the previous war’s financial problems. The German people were pushed to the brink by inflation and poverty. The truth is that Hitler just happened to come at the right moment. He isn’t the first leader to exploit his nation’s hardship for his own gain. He won’t be the last. History repeats itself. The same drive that led people to rise up, was also tied in to the Germans who tried to help the Jews. Not to mention, the Jews and gays get so much sympathy, but what about the gypsies? To this day, that culture, or what’s left of it, is still looked down upon by Europe. It has the connotation of being a thief, slovenly. Gypsies were often killed, outright. I haven’t seen a lot of mourning for them. That goes to show that even sympathy is tied to the feelings of nation and the time. It’s easy for us to sit on our high horse and judge, but we are not better.”
There was yet-another long pause.
“So, cuz, does that mean that how we see morality and love and all of that is just tied to culture? That nothing is set in stone? That seems like chaos. How do we measure who we are as people without some sort of compass to guide us?”
He winked at her. “Me dearest cousin, that is the greatest question of the 21st century. One that I am glad to be a part of. Even if it is when I’m folding my boxers and listening to Chris Botti. It is what it is. The actions of a lone summer’s day, to be enjoyed by two people who are dearest to one-another. Profound stuff.”
Just then, the cat entered. It’s lithe gray and black body coming to rest on his cousin’s lap, quickly settling in and demanding affection.
She looked up at her cousin. “So then, if we can’t explain love, how do you explain cats?”
His eyes went wide. “I think you’ve found the greatest philosophical question that has ever been asked! One which, I believe, can never be answered. For the answer is in the statement – cats. Just, cats.”
The two of them laughed. Finishing up his laundry, he sat next to her. The two enjoyed the wind, blowing through the window, on that cool early-summer’s day.
Until next time, a quote,
“Life … is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” – Seyton, Macbeth