“I want love to conquer all. But love can’t conquer anything. It can’t do anything on its own. It relies on us to do the conquering on its behalf.” – David Levithan
Most of my characters are hopeless romantics. Well, that’s how I’d go about defining them. Maybe they’re just idealists: they believe in something wholeheartedly, and they stay true to their version of the world, no matter what. Maybe all idealists are stubborn like that.
Jonathan Fisher, in The Writer, wants to become a great writer, no matter what. Chris Sommers, in Jazz, wants to be happy. Francisc Goyer, in A Sad, Sad Symphony, wants to create the perfect symphony, just so he can leave something behind. Something great. The unnamed narrator in Remember wants nothing more than to kiss the woman he’s always been in love with.
It’s strange that whenever I was in love I felt as though I could conquer the world. As if the person who was seated in front of me or holding my hand was the source of a tremendous energy. I never managed to take a hold of that energy though. I could never really pin down the feeling and describe it either.
You feel as if the words are there, inside your head, but you just can’t reach them. And you want to say something no one else has ever thought of saying.
Or maybe you just want to do something… anything.
Or maybe you’re just scared.
You know that ancient Greek legend about humans originally having four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces? And fearing their power Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.
I think we spend an awful lot of time “building” that missing part. We take everything we admire from the world around us, qualities upon which our beliefs are built, we take all those great and wonderful parts we see in others. And all the novels and movies and songs we listen to. And all those strangers we see in the bus every day. And we build our missing half. It’s an unconscious process.
And every single moment that put a smile on our face, or took our breath away, we store it, and we imagine how it would be for someone to constantly make us feel like that.
And then we meet someone, and we feel as if that’s the person we’ve always been in love with.
I believe we’re all searching for the missing half: the half that’s going to make us stronger, better, the half that’s supposed to make us whole again. So powerful the gods themselves would be jealous and afraid.
They say love conquers all. Maybe it just takes away the fear of waking up in a world that neither wants nor needs you. Maybe it even takes away the fear of never waking up again.
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