love proof

by tobias crabtree

words jump around.

the same word can mean very different things.

i used to play a game with someone while we drove across the country. it was kind of a homonym game but i would always cheat and twist words to sound like other words. like i would say, ” i got one, inanimate.” and then i would give examples, “that rock is inanimate,” and then, “i’ll be out… “in-a-minute.””she would laugh a little and tell me no, no, no, you can’t make that shit up like that.

in context, the game we played was proof of a certain kind of love. love of company and time spent. love of travel. love of sky and distance. love of love. i mostly avoid thinking of all that now, but somehow those times re-conjure themselves in the night. things that were then, become now. it’s like a trick that life plays on the sad and the sleepy. i think about heartache sometimes and i try to send it on down the river. i try to let it go, but damn, them old thoughts are strong swimmers. they can come back up stream like salmon. so it becomes a ritual; each day, sometimes more than once, i let ’em go. now i look at it more like letting the dogs out for a run…i know they’ll be back, but at least they won’t bother me for a bit. and in the interim, maybe i’ll fill the space. maybe one of these days, they won’t have room to stay and they’ll just go somewhere else.

if proof is a noun, it means to give something legitimacy or make it true. proof, as an adjective, is resistance. water-proof, bullet-proof, or whatever-proof.  i wonder about love; applied, it is probably our most worthy aspect. if it weren’t for love, i don’t know that we would have anything that sets us apart and gives us a good enough reason to be on this planet; however, it brings with it the possibility of evil. where there is something so powerful as love, there will always be a way to abuse it. it comes in the form of feigned affection. fake love, man, that shit is wicked. it can topple the powerful and crush the determined. what’s worse is that everyone is likely to experience it. some will be the dealers and some will be dealt. oh my, these tricky hearts!

if they made a love-proof jacket, i don’t know if i’d buy one, but i certainly would check to see if they had it in my size.