Build Love / by padhia hutton

Build love. I laughed at the man who said that to me. I laughed until I heard it echo off the jagged walls of my cold empty cave as I sat in the dark with my most loyal life companion, No One. No One wrapped his arms around me and held me in a deep embrace, like no human ever has, soothing me in places no human has ever reached. We are together again at our demented tea party, laughing arrogantly as the sweet lumps of judgment dissolve in our hot cups of pain.

Some might question the company I keep; No One seems ugly to others. Secretly I have always felt slightly more evolved as the only one who can see his true beauty. I look at his soft shape and he is so dear to me, as my oldest friend. Stitched together, a patchwork of those who shaped my fears, his voice a broken recording of things I can never unhear. We look at the world with unforgiving eyes and each time we dissect something until it becomes ugly we become closer as our hearts melt together a little more. He is the only one who has ever felt safe to me.

Build love? Love should just appear, as a magical burst that comes straight out of no where! Just as I expected to move 3,000 miles away and start my life over smoothly as if my past suffering were some form of currency with which I could buy immunity from the trials of life. Without the universe forcing me mercilessly to inconceivable lows then even lower to teach me that pain is actually a bottomless, infinite abyss and the only thing that can pull you up from the depths is your own fucking spirit. Just as I expected to somehow become a masterful artist in a short span of time where it took others a lifetime of dedication. Just as I marked on my calendar the appropriate date when my wounds should be healed from things that clawed their way through my skin and feasted on my soul like it was a Sizzler buffet. Just as I lived my way straight out of really living in life and walled myself into this cave with No One.

Build love. Me and No One, we destroy shit. We dissect everything; we take things apart before we even have to experience them because we are so clever that we can see exactly what they are all about and how they will end. And when we have finally figured out the final move in the scenario we didn’t participate in, we march around our empty cave in darkness with our heads held high, celebrating our cleverness at having outsmarted life and feeling superior to the ignorant people who are foolish enough to actually experience things.

Build love. I thought about this as I sat in my cave on the pile of a lifetime of leftover scraps I was given that I didn’t build love from. I looked at all of them again. None of them were good enough, they weren’t my idea of how I thought they should be, they seemed strange or foreign, they didn’t fit my abstract plan, they made me nervous, they just weren’t right somehow. Maybe they were real, but they were not magical by my narrow definition. They weren’t my personal idea of perfect. So I threw them away without ever thinking to polish them or paint them or added fucking anything at all of myself to them. Or even just to engage in an activity of creation of any type with them because that is just the natural flow of life. I never considered I had the power to make them what I needed them to be, that perfection could stem from the simple act of adding something of my own to them. Instead I imagined what someone else would build with them and shut down the plans when it fell short of my vivid imaginings.

Build love. As if it were a structure. An actual refuge you could dwell in, not just something that would fade as you get close as you realize it was just an apparition made by heat on the horizon. Something you could patch and repair and expand to suit the needs of your soul, if only you would participate in its construction.

Build love. It is much more intellectual, I always thought, to be clever enough to see the worst in everything. To always be a step ahead of living the moment. To see the tragic ending, to live out the twists and turns and endings in my mind, saving myself from the experience. I did not build love. I built a world of such solitude only I could understand its complexity and lurk in it comfortably. Me and No One.

Build love. How foolish. Isolation… that’s intellectually evolved. When you can think your way out of all the beauty you see and you are smart enough to pour ice cold water on the tiny embers that begin to light up your heart, you are truly a master of your emotions. When you can talk yourself out of all your heart wants to experience with your suspicious thoughts, and warning signs, and you inhale deeply, getting high on the poisonous fumes of judgment- you are truly smarter than those ignorant fools who dare to go on adventures of the heart.

Build love. We laughed at the man who said this, and we sent him on his way as we tore him into pieces until he became something to hide from, and so smartly decided you can love the message without loving the messenger. And we embraced as we always do. Me and No One. We destroy shit.