16. Construction

Y: “Let’s start love over.”

M: “How?”

Y: “First, let’s remove the word love.”

M: “Can we do that without destroying what we have?”

Y: “I just took it away. Are you destroyed?”

M: “Then what’s next?”

Y: “I guess we would have to figure out who we are?”

M: “Don’t we have to figure out what we are?”

Y: “How can we be a we if we aren’t singular people?”

M: “I guess.”

Y: “Then who are you?”

M: “I don’t know.”

Y: “Try again.”

M: “Who do you think I am?”

Y: “That’s unimportant. Who are you?”

M: “I feel like I am incomplete. I feel like I am a lot of things. That I am capable of being a lot — compassionate, curious, loving, neurotic. I don’t know if that says anything about who I am.”

Y: “But what would you call all of those things? Those qualities you listed?”

M: “Honest.”

M: “Then who are you?”

Y: “Not that honest.”

M: “But you are!”

Y: “Remember, we’re defining ourselves.”

M: “Then what’s next?”

Y: “We’re opposites.”

M: “They say opposites attract.”

Y: “And they sometimes fight to erase each other.”

M: “I wouldn’t fight to get rid of you.”

Y: “I’m sure you wouldn’t.”

M: “Would you try to get rid of me?”

Y: “Maybe if we reached an especially rough place. A place where you made me confront something I didn’t want to confront. And I’d run. Or turn on you.”

M: “You’re just saying that.”

Y: “Believe what you will.”

M: “Then what are we trying to start over?”

Y: “I think we started to reach one of those tough spots. You kept telling me you loved me and I didn’t feel anything. So I wanted to start over. To see if we could. To see if you can start love over. To retrace my steps and figure out where I went wrong.”

M: “Did you go wrong or do you just not love me?”

Y: “I love that you’re alive.”

M: “But do you love me?”

Y: “I have the words.”

M: “Say them.”


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