After the Meeting

During the movie I think: “What is valuable about love is that you get to decide what is important to you.” You choose who you love as a means of moving closer to the ideal of yourself. Or at least that’s what I imagine when the Black Panther asks the woman he loves to stay in Wakanda and she refuses. There’s more that I think but I don’t remember it now—instead of writing in my little book I drank beer and talked about revolution. Which is not the same thing although I often desire a revolution in myself and see love as a means of carrying it out. You don’t choose the other person as an ideal to emulate but as a partner compatible with your ideal. Sometimes I focus too much on this aspect of love—that’s called projection or wishful thinking. Sometimes I don’t think about it at all—that’s called living in a fairy tale. That’s called not attending to myself. After the meeting everyone stands up from the table and lingers around the bookshelves at the far end of the room. I want to make conversation and very quickly it becomes C and I talking alone. I almost don’t know how it happens. Her friend has turned from us to the others. This wasn’t my intention. Only later do I ask myself whether the friend’s turn was a conscious move (they are good friends). I look C in the eyes in a way that I haven’t allowed myself to before. Even around the table when I saw the way she looked back at me I averted my eyes. It’s not fair to let someone look at you like that. To want it but to also hide some part of yourself. That’s the other thing I wanted to write after the movie—that it’s not fair to let someone look at you like that without letting them know what your circumstances are. And it’s not. But right now it seems like that’s all I can do. I’m still figuring it out.

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