“Solace” by Masha Tupitsyn

Does it still bother you? Does it still matter? Why does it still bother you? Why does it still matter? The most important thing to do now is to forget. To surrender and encourage. You should support one another. You should support him. You should learn from your experience together, then move on and love again. You should both be friends. There is nothing better than being friends. One day you will be good friends. You loved each other at the time. You meant what you said at the time. He meant what he said at the time. You can love a few different people at a time. You can be in love with someone and still want other people. You can be happy and in love with someone and still be with other people. You can have a soul mate, a true love, and still desire other people. It is impossible to only love one person.

You should call him up and ask him things. You should let him know that nothing’s wrong. That nothing’s lost. You should tell him how much he’s taught you. You should listen to him say you’ve taught him nothing. Love is a lesson. Love is for learning lessons. We each have many lessons. We each have many soul mates. There are no soul mates. Nothing lasts forever. But eventually it might.

There will always be other people. There are always other people. There are so many people in the world. You should go out and look for them. There are too many people in the world, you will never have enough time to find them. You can meet anyone. You could find nothing. You can expect everything. You can expect nothing.

You should date. Are you dating? Are you dating anyone? Who are you dating? Why aren’t dating anyone? It’s time to date someone. Everything is timing. Everyone is timing. You can time things. You can time someone. You can time your life. You should try it. You would like it. You could learn to.

Are you having sex? Are you having sex with anyone? Who are you having sex with? Why aren’t you having sex with anyone? Are you over him? Have you gotten over him? When will you get over him? Aren’t you over him? What are you waiting for? You can’t wait all day. You can’t wait all year. You can’t wait forever.

There is no such thing as love. Love is really lust. Love is really temporary. Love is really loss. Love is oppressive. Passion is oppressive. Passion is destructive. Passion is fleeting. Passion is temporary. Passion is only in the beginning. Passion is when you’re cheating on someone. Passion is when you don’t have permission. Passion is when you are young. Passion is when you were young. Passion is before you made decisions. Passion is the first time. Passion is before you got hurt. Love is only in the beginning. Love is before you know someone. Love is the opposite of desire. Love is unhealthy. Love makes you sick. Love makes you bleed. Love makes you too fat and too skinny, too comfortable and too nervous. Love is exhausting. Love is consuming. Love makes you exhausting to be around. Love is in your sick mind. Love makes you feel like shit. Love is old-fashioned. Love is impossible. Love is criteria. Love is demanding. Love makes you demanding. Love is several. Love happens all the time. Love is happening all around you. Love is happening now. Love is easy. Love is unrealistic. Love is impossible. Love ends. Love doesn’t exist.

You blame love for everything. You do everything in the name of love. Love is why you stayed. Love is why you left. Love is why you’re tired all the time. Love is why you’re no longer fun to be around. Love is why you’re always busy. Love makes you talk too much. Love is the reason you’ve stopped acting like a guy. Love is why you let him use you. How could you let yourself love him? How can you call that love?

Love means you call everything you have ever done love. Love means every time you hurt someone, you say that love is hurtful. Love is an excuse. Love is coexistence. Love is codependence. Love is the loss of your freedom. You’re too young to love. You don’t know what love means. You’ve never loved anyone in your life. You can’t love now. You can love later. Now is not the time to love. You can love when you’re ready. Love is freedom. Love is unconditional. Love means you can’t want anything from the person you love. Love means you will gladly give away what you love. Love means you don’t love, but you pretend you know how to. Love is something you give up on because someone gave up on you. Love means you don’t even try. Love means after you’ve lost love once, you could lose again and you’d survive.

Love makes you jealous. Love makes you remember. Love makes you not care. Love makes you shit and have diarrhea and throw-up. Love makes you sleepless. Love makes you spleenless. Love makes you age prematurely. Love is why you eat so much. Love is why you’ve stopped eating. Love makes you pathetic. Love is disgusting. Love is inconvenient. Love makes you the same. Love means you can’t see the difference. Love gets you nowhere. Love is a prison. Love is a waste of time. Love is precious. Love gets in your way. Love covers you with bruises and breaks your legs. Love breaks your heart and then love leaves you broken. Love is what everyone says. Love is what no one means. Love is what you can’t say. Love is what no one knows how to do. Love is what you forgot. Love is what you lost. Love is what you thought you had. Love is the word that you won’t say. Love is the word that everyone says. Love is the word that never gets you anywhere. Love is what you do when you fuck. Love is what you fucked up. Love is what no one means. Love is what you will spend your whole life looking for. Love is what you already have. Love is what you will spend your whole life trying to mean.

And when it is over you should forget. When it is over you should forget and move on. When love is over you should forget and fall in love again. Except never acknowledge what you are doing as forgetting. Forgive and forget. Forgive and forget.

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Masha Tupitsyn is the author of LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film (ZerO Books, 2011) Beauty Talk & Monsters, a collection of film-based stories (Semiotext(e) Press, 2007), and co-editor of the anthology Life As We Show It: Writing on Film (City Lights, 2009), which was voted one of the best film books of 2009 by Dennis Cooper, January Magazine, Shelf Awareness, and Chicago’s New City. She is currently working on a new book of essays on film, Screen to Screen, as well as a book on John Cusack, Star Notes: John Cusack and The Politics of Acting.

Her fiction and criticism has appeared in the anthologies Wreckage of Reason: XXperimental Women Writers Writing in the 21st Century (2008) and the Encyclopedia Project Volume II, F-K (2010) and IndieWIRE’s Press Play, BOMB, Keyframe, Puerto del Sol, 2nd Floor Projects, Vertebrae Journal, Venus Magazine, The Rumpus, Animal Shelter, Fanzine, Make/Shift, NYFA Current, Bookforum, Fence, and San Francisco’s KQED’s The Writer’s Block. She regularly contributes video essays on film and culture to Ryeberg Curated Video, which features writers like Mary Gaitskill and Sheila Heti.