Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Playing Chicken

I'll lose every time.

Sometimes people who care about each other have disagreements or arguments which lead to the suppression of affection. Two people, who hopefully still love each other, decide that they won't express that love through speech, physical touch, or even glances in each others' general directions.

In other words, they're playing a game of chicken. Whoever kisses first loses.

I'm not very good at that game. I have to be truly uninterested in speaking to you, seeing you, or touching you. Even that only lasts so long.

When I see the ones I love, a physical (and probably chemical) change takes place in me.

I'm sure that, if scientists hooked me up to machines that measured my heart rate, body temperature, goose-pimple ratio and all kinds of other elements, it's reveal quite a transformation.

Let me hear my girlfriend's voice or see my cousin's baby-face pitifully obscured by her grown-up visage. Let me get a genuine, heartfelt, unashamed expression of affection from my father.

There are no words for what this does for me and to me.

If I love you, I love you with everything I have and I can only suppress that for so long. Even if I choose not to have any contact with you (like in my father's case), that's an intellectual decision completely at-odds with my emotional core.

Distance helps.

Living in the same home, though? I can't play chicken with you, there, and I certainly don't want to.

What I'd rather have is a healthy relationship that can survive a few mishaps through a little conversation and a lot of love.

I'm only going to lose so many games of chicken, though - not because my pride is too hurt by it (thought that maybe a factor). When it really comes down to it, there's something unhealthy about a relationship that endures because of (or in spite of) grown people playing games.

I'd rather put the poor thing out of its memory or resuscitate it with something substantive that'll keep it warm and vital for years to come.


chele said...

Interesting take. Playing chicken and the first one to kiss loses. I never lose. That is not something I am proud of and I am really trying to change that. My guy is like you ... he can't hide his love no matter how hard he tries ... no matter how bitchy I'm being ... that's why I have to make that effort to lose every now and then.

West said...

That's really sweet, chele.

I hope you succeed and that both of you "win." :-)