26.05.06 - 9:15 p.m.

when someone says i love you to me i almost always have questions. how do you love me? as in, what makes this feeling possible? in a self-effacing mood it's how could you possibly and otherwise it's more of a why; i want reasons, and concrete ones. also as in, about what type of love are we talking? do you want to kiss me or marry me, hang out and watch movies? is it the kind of love that requires the smallest amount of imformation? the kind that has a million traits assigned to a person practically chosen at random?
i think of the people to whom i say it: the ones who seldom hear it, the ones who hear it frequently and the ones who hear it every time we talk. sometimes it's mechanical, automatic with no feeling. just habit. but those people are few and relatives, all. i admire my sister-in-law for the way she kisses cheeks and says it so nonchalantly, as a matter of fact. love you, she says, because she loves me. she will say it with a mouth full of food or half turned around mid-conversation with someone else. any way, she means it. there is my best friend who ends every phone conversation with it. bye; i love you. if you add something -- a heywaitheyhey i almost forgot, she says it again. last thing, as a rule. this makes me love her more. my brother says love you, mitten and i say love you, buster. i know what he means, because we mean the same thing: don't die.
but what do you MEAN? i want to ask, but it's impolite. every first time i want to say why how when did you arrive at this conclusion and do you intend to stay there? how essential is my answer to your position? this is like asking someone to dance, i want to tell him or her. they could say no as in i do not love you. they could say no as in i don't feel like dancing but ask me again later when i've warmed up to the atmosphere. no as in i have a broken leg but came anyway just to be social. or, they could say yes, like i've been waiting all night for you to ask. or like the punch is gone and this is an okay song so why not. or you're homely but i don't want to be the fourth girl in a row to turn you down.
all this makes me wonder why nobody else asks for clarification.

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