On Love: “Teach Me to Speak”


My apartment has the music of love in it.  There is a row on my left and soupy breathing on my right.  I hear “fuck you” and I hear “fuck me.”  In love, someone is always getting fucked.  The rain outside patters the windows like a bowl of milk being filled with Rice Krispies and these slow and then moderate and then fast percussive bangs mimic the action unfolding here and there.  Snap crackle pop snap crackle pop snap crackle pop.

Behind the closed door to my right it sounds like my roommate and his girlfriend are hiccupping in harmony and it dawns on me there, wrapped in nothing but a towel, that this marked speechlessness seems more conversational and comprehensive and wholesome than the stuff going on to my left; but both still sound like love.  These are but two of love’s many iterations.

When I was younger, I would tip toe from my room to the stairwell that led to the kitchen to sit there and listen to my parents disagree loudly, hurtfully.  And I’d fear that the two people no longer loved each other.  I might enter the kitchen, crying, and ask if everything was all right, if they weren’t going to get a divorce.  It was in my kitchen that I learned that two people in love are allowed to fight.  Love necessarily yields war but war does not necessarily yield love.  And so back in my apartment, I feel like I’m seated again at the top of my staircase, all teary-eyed, only now I see that love can not only be scary, but that it is a choice.

Each of my roommates feels something in his heart if it is possible to feel there at all.  Right now I feel something there too.  Right now the Yankees are playing the Blue Jays and Lord knows a W for the Yanks here is huge.  Right now I have an unwritten story that my publisher needs by Wednesday.  Right now my English professor wants 500 words from me on the tension that Hemingway generates between language and experience.  I like that writing prompt.  It is worded beautifully.  My publisher also wants 500 words from me.  Twitter wants 40 characters.  That last sentence was 36.  Forty characters, 500 words: who cares?  It’s as if I’m talking to you through a damn keyhole.  Right now I have all this inside me but to you it’s only words and words and words.  Right now I wish my heart could talk because it has so much it would say to you.

Love and conversation, though, aren’t characterized by words; it is me and it is you, bundled up for minus 50 degree cold, undressing one another without letting either of us freeze.  My roommate engaged in the stuff at the end of the hall, you see, though, is freezing.  He moved too fast.  He inhabited himself without inhabiting his girlfriend.  So that makes true love going up to someone and saying, “Let me thaw you out.”

Can I?


word by Jacob Goldberg: “The image has a heart in it.  This all happened in my house the other night, and I thought it was fitting to write about love.”

colour by Sylvie Adams

“A native New-Brunswicker, Sylvie Adams has lived mostly in Montreal since the 1980s. She has travelled intensively throughout her life, residing for brief periods in Germany, England and France.

She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Concordia University and a Master’s Degree in Applied Sciences (Architecture) from Université de Montréal. She worked in the design field for close to fifteen years in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her love of visual arts brought her back to painting and she now has her own studio in Montreal, where she paints. 

Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, nationally and internationally, in Quebec, Ontario and at the Affordable Art Fair in Seoul, South Korea (2015).

Her work can also be found in private and corporate collections, including the Permanent Art Collection of Rio Tinto Alcan.”

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Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com

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