A recent letter from one of my readers was a potent reminder of what I was like when I was in my teens.
It wasn’t pretty.
I was a classic otaku; I was going through the stage where the only things I wanted to talk about were anime, manga and the fact that I wanted to find The One in the worst way. To paraphrase the ever relevant 500 Days of Summer, I could blame this on an early exposure to sad British pop music and completely misunderstanding St. Elmo’s Fire1. And in fairness, my experiences at the time validated everything I was feeling. Love was everywhere. I didn’t just have a crush on a girl in high-school or college, I had a mad, all-consuming fire in my heart for her that meant I couldn’t eat or sleep.
Well… sleep, anyway. Eating somehow managed to take care of itself, actually.
Every time I was into a girl, I was in love with her with my entire heart and soul. When we broke up (and we always broke up… usually within a few months of getting together) it was a hideous tragedy that would break my heart into pieces, set them on fire and then piss in the ashes, just for good measure.
Maybe you’re shaking your head in familiar dismay. It’s something that everybody goes through… and the we all usually have the same realisation.
It took my first serious relationship to make me realize that I had absolutely no idea what love really was… and I needed a better handle on this whole “love” business if I didn’t want all of my relationships to end in tragedy.
- and a whole host of other romantic comedies [↩]