“Liquor is like a symphony or a classical song or something. You don’t use it as a downer. You use it to leap up into the sky or when you’re in pain or when you, we, have depression.” - Bukowski
Anne Sexton’s poem “For My Lover, Returning to His Wife,” ends with the line: “As for me, I am watercolor. I wash off.” She’s just addressed the letting go of love and the acceptance that she’s been but a passing fancy, a mirage in a passionless period of life, “littleneck clams out of season,” “a bright red stoop in the harbor.” So she “gives him back his heart,” giving him permission to return to that which makes him whole, not that which simply excites him. It’s a saddening poem, but when it comes to love, sex, relationships, or simply trying to connect with other human beings, it’s all very tricky territory.
We all carry the same desires, and yet we end up running around life as if blindfolded, ending up with all the wrong people, in all the wrong places, looking for some semblance of what it is we’re after. But love isn’t always a choice, and the way it works into your veins has little to do with consciousness. Your need for a person outweighs your ability to thrive on anything else, and until that wish is fulfilled you pine and pine before accepting that you must either go after what you want, or suppress your feelings. Either decision is frightening and leaves you feeling as if you could have done something differently. You can never be sure.