This Is How It Goes

Once upon a time there was nothing to think about except how to fall in love. Banging into furniture, shirts and shoes on the floor, tantrums of love. You will do this if you love me. How much do you love me? Love measured by its selfishness, deepened by its demands.

But lovers must eat. Eventually, lovers fill in time sheets, pay the electricity bill, settle the mortgage. Love must learn to be disciplined, to inherit responsibilities; and lust, that clumsy belligerent, subsides, makes itself at home with the measure of routine, the daily commute, the early bedtime. No more yearning for sleepless nights.

This is love after the happy ending:

“Pay some attention to me.”

“I love you.”

“Then show me.”

He smiles at her playfulness but pulls away. “It’s been a long day. I’m tired.”

“Too tired to love me?”

“Not too tired to love you. Just too tired to make love to you.”

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