I am occasionally overwhelmed with a sense of love for my friends. Love, like fear, is difficult to describe. I have to rely on our shared experience as humans to convey the depth of my loyalty and affection for them. I would describe the sensation like this: I’m on a boat on the ocean. I jump overboard and squeeze my eyes shut as I plunge into the water; that flash of adventurous anticipation that forces my eyes open before I stop sinking and start to float: that’s what love feels like: an adventure. Then it wells up inside me, a bubbling, laughing fountain, overflowing at my temples, coating me with a bright, oily shine.
I think I will never get to know my friends as well as I would like. Like a second family, my goal is to make them feel loved, and sometimes I fail. I want to make their lives easier, to protect them from hardship, and feed them delicious meals. I want to provide for them and fight for them. I want them to sleep soundly at night. I want them to believe their hard work will pay off. I want to give each of them the chance to succeed in their own way. I want them to never feel alone.
As I read what I’ve written I realize this is how a parent feels for her child, and I begin to understand that all love probably shares common roots: protection, encouragement, joy, success.
I feel like I could power a tiny mouse-town with this feeling. It spins like a top behind my eyes, and hums contentedly in my chest. I smile quietly in the dark as I wait for sleep, in the car as I glance in the rear-view mirror, on the couch watching TV with Boyfriend, knowing I will see my friends soon.