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chemical reactions, essays, modern love

Modern Love: Chemistry

She is a watchmaker and a sculptor by craft and by trade with gifted, beautiful hands. Loves Magritte and art museums, opera, books and comes from a kind family, a good one, and we share the history of potentially scarring but in reality enlightening and strengthening congruous conservative religious childhoods. She is lovely, clever, erudite but not arrogant, articulate but not grating. There was not a moment of awkward silence, not a moment of misunderstanding or emptiness, and yet, and yet…

Not the ‘right’ type of chemistry.

I agreed to a second date, dinner next week, and I’m sure we’ll have a fabulous time. She is, unreservedly, a great person. And yet, and yet…

I know what chemistry feels like. I know that sense of your body wanting to curve towards this other person, the intensity, the hotness of a fathoms-deep and soul-encompassing blush that turns you inside out, curls somewhere in a lost cavern amidst your kidneys and makes the tips of your fingers prickle and the tips of your ears tight and at attention. It is fierce; it is demanding, and it is the only thing that moves someone like me, someone most stubborn and pragmatic and rational, to be irrational and impatient and reckless. It creates inside an excitement, an anticipation—

Ah, that is it, anticipation, now the inadequate word, inadequate to describe the precipice on which one can perch, thinking, knowing that the cliff you are about to dive off of, at the bottom, will contain depths and wonders that will change your world.

That’s why chemistry, good chemistry is both intoxicating and frightening, because you know that in the giving into of it, your world will change.

She is not going to change my world. I write that knowing I could be wrong for who of us can see into the future with any accuracy, and yet, and yet…

I’m not holding my breath for our next meeting. I look forward to it but my skin isn’t tingling. It isn’t hard for me to resist texting her right now. My thoughts aren’t consumed by her. My body doesn’t want to pull her, hold her, against me—

I don’t ache for that first kiss.

I don’t feel the right chemistry and I cannot divine if it’s because I’m not listening or letting it or if because it simply isn’t there; the absence not a negative just a fact but an absence, a lack, nonetheless.

She is exactly what I should want, and yet, and yet…


About Quinn

In it but not of it. A reformed player, now watcher. Speaker of raw truths.


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Raison d’etre

"Raw," she said. "I want something primal. I want something bare and naked. I want you to give me this life raw, unbidden, unhidden, free, fair, and true. Can you do that? Can you do that for me?"

One may only try.

December 2013
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