Love Is Exhausting

She asked me how I felt about living in a cottage,
and caught the glare of horror I returned, before I realised that she was attempting to be romantic,
and replaced it with a nondescript nod, that meant nothing at all.

It was her turn to glare,
glacial and glowering,
as if it was a crime for me to like flowers but not fancy the idea of life in a fucking forest, listening to Taylor Swift and holding hands through chaste, safe evenings.
I knew exactly what she was asking,
because she spends too much time on forums,
and falls in love with the childish doldrums of TikTok teens who like sunsets and “Sapphic” playlists,
so it was never just about a cottage,
or she wouldn’t have taken such umbrage to my reluctance about a life of isolated suffrage.

I asked her how she felt about climbing the Eiffel Tower,
and she just started babbling about how it would be a crime,
when she knows that my main objective would be to get high in a way that doesn’t offend my sensibilities, and tell the whole world that she was mine,
we’re not in a Victorian novel, my angel,
and it’s not as if we’re actually doing anything illegal,
why are we hiding in a creepy, cold cottage,
listening to stuff that isn’t for us,
and having cold showers, in separate, desperate bathrooms,
as if we don’t like each other?

She didn’t answer,
went on pinning little punishment huts on her Pinterest board,
and I watched old movies about monsters that chased after girls like me,
hoping they’d do something public and declarative with my corpse.
I thought I might hold her hand,
but that would give me ideas,
and my God,
she hates when I get ideas.
It’s off to the cold shower in a bathroom made for one, for me.

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