I’ve sat in front of my laptop, the screen casting a pale light on my fingers, for about a half hour now. With it being Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I felt obligated and clichéd to write about love and whatnot, and I wrote 400 words before I sneered at what I had written and deleted them all. I tried redirecting my approach and started over, but I didn’t like those words, either. What can I say about love that hasn’t been recycled before? What do I have to add to the coffer? Nothing, really. Just typical garbage, which is frustrating for me, a self-professed romantic. Granted, Valentine’s Day is a silly day out of the year where people feel pressured to spend money on junk jewelry (oh, Robert, this heart-shaped diamond pennant is just what I wanted!), cheap chocolate that will undoubtedly have a chocolate covered cherry in the mix, and schmaltzy cards with a picture of a kitten hugging a teddy bear or some inane bullhonk like that, and flowers that will die like your love in a few years.
This stuff isn’t romantic to me. It’s a nice gesture, sure…I like chocolate and sometimes buy myself flowers because I like them, and a kitty hugging a teddy bear is pretty stinking cute, but when it all comes down to it, to me, it’s how you profess your love the other 364 days a year that really matter. To me, it’s paying attention to someone and picking up on things they say they would like, such as a book they haven’t read and would like to and then surprising them with it later. It’s cooking a meal for them. It’s asking if they need anything if they’re sick in bed and bringing it to them. Little things that end up stacking up. To me, that’s love. Being attentive and showing you care sometimes means far more than regurgitating the words “I love you.” Not that those words are a bad thing. On the contrary. But, sadly, people abuse them like anything else in life.
This is a truly terrible segue, but this is also romantic; probably the most romantic thing I’ve ran across in years: Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved letters. I’m in awe at the words, I really am. Brilliant composer and greatest lady’s man. Leon Phelps ain’t got nothin’ on Ludy, man. Observe and be in awe with me:
In the morning- My angel, my all, my self – only a few words today, and indeed with pencil (with yours). Only tomorrow is my lodging positively fixed. What a worthless waste of time on such – why this deep grief, where necessity speaks – can our love exist but by sacrifices by not demanding everything can you change it, that you not completely mine. I am not completely yours – Oh God, look upon beautiful nature and calm your soul over what must be – love demands everything and completely with good reason. So it is for me with you, for you with me – only you forget so easily, that I must live for myself and for you, were we wholly united, you would feel this painfulness just as little as I – Oh, wherever I am, you are with me. I say to myself and to you, arrange that I can live with you. What a life!!!! as it is!!!! without you –I love you even more deeply but – but never hide yourself from me – good night – as one bathing I must go to sleep so near! so far! Is not our love a true heavenly edifice – but also firm, like the firmament…
Good morning while still in bed thoughts thrust themselves toward you my eternally beloved now and then happy then again sad. Awaiting fate. If it will grant us a favorable hearing – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all…
Yes I have resolved to stray about in the distance, until I can fly into your arms and call myself entirely at home with you. Can send my soul embraced by you into the realm of spirits – yes unfortunately it must be – you will compose yourself all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never – O God why have to separate oneself, what one loves so, and yet my life in V [ienna] as it is now is a miserable life – Your love makes me the most happy and the most unhappy at once – at my age I would need some conformity regularity of life – can this exist in our relationship? — Angel, right now I hear that the mail goes every day – and I must therefore close, so that you will receive the L [etter] immediately – be calm, only through quiet contemplation of our existence can wereach our goal to live together – be patient -love me – today – yesterday – What longing with tears for you – you – you my love – my all – fare-well – o continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
Are you freaking kidding me?!
That is, by far, one of the most gorgeous things I have ever read in my life. The last six words melt me, scoop my melted self into a mold of me, puts me in a freezer, takes me out when I’m set, and then melts me all over again. That, my friends, is how you do it. Goddamn Beethoven.
I can’t compete with that, so I’m calling it quits for the night. Effing Ludwig showing off and stealing the show. Jesus.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Don’t eat the chocolate covered cherries.