Seconds after turning my light out, I thought about the pancakes me and my flatmates might make the next morning. Then I thought about the weed tea that a friend had mentioned in passing earlier. Then I thought about writing this. Then about his fingernails, because I had made a point in my head to write about his fingernails. For some reason, when we talked, our first serious sober discussion, I studied his fingernails. Very short and small, just a part of his hand, not a standalone feature. Stubby, for the strings of guitars and basses. I ran my fingertips over and around them. It was somewhere to look.

Our hands touched often during the two hours we spent holed up in my bedroom, an arcane sort of physical contact very unlike sex. I wanted to kiss him, even though I knew with all certainty that I couldn’t, and that was the worst. I wanted to kiss him, but the longer the discussion went on, the less I wanted to kiss him, and that felt even worse than the worst. The worst is knowing you can’t, but worse than the worst is realising you might not even want to. Or recognising that, as he pointed out, it would be better not to—that it would be “WRONG.” That drove me mad.

When I was young, I assumed that love was the simplest thing. I was brought up to regard Jesus’s love as the pinnacle, something to aspire to. The love of not just the Jesus you see painted in that nauseatingly soft light, but also the Jesus who knocked over tables in a temple out of pure seething anger. In amongst the feelings of love that make me float like a cloud, lord knows I’ve felt that sort of fury, too. I threw my ex’s mug out of the flat window just to see it shatter. That feeling has validity. But love felt more important. Love overrode everything. Nothing else mattered—not the complications, not the illness, not the sadness. I knew that Jesus forgave before there was even anything to forgive, so I did that too.

Some part of me still believes that the Bible is right and the world is wrong. It is a simplified idea of love that really only belongs in a child’s lullaby. Maybe that echo of belief is the only thing that soothes me into not giving up on basic human interaction. But the world is fucking complicated. No, not the world—the world pretty much runs like clockwork: rain falling, poles spinning, plants growing. It’s the people that are complicated.

Jesus cried and Jesus laughed and Jesus starved. I’ve cried to the point of puffy eyes, laughed within the same hour, and eaten absolute crap (not comparable to starving but near enough) within the last day. But Jesus didn’t have to survive a boy who remains stubbornly in close proximity for most of his waking and sleeping life. Maybe that means it’s not important.

I’m beginning to think my feelings are wrong. I am worried that if people knew about my feelings—if they knew how much I feel about one single person, that I still want more, that I am writing this much about it—they would think less of me.

I feel like my whole fucking life is founded in love, so what does anyone expect me to do? I can’t help that I grew up in a cross-section of worlds: one religious, which taught me that love is the most important thing; and then this society, which teaches me that love is where I find my worth. I am figuring out the most complicated facet of human existence; I should be allowed to cry and wallow and walk around in a daze.

I saw a small baby on the Overground the other day. It looked tiny and peaceful, , asleep without a thought, completely unaware of the cruelty of the world. I thought about how that little existence was a rare patch of uncomplicated space.

I turned off my light again and tried to think about pancakes. I tried not to hear the footsteps passing my door. I tried not to know who they belonged to. ♦