The night before last my girlfriend hurt my feelings, and I hurt hers. The specifics are irrelevant; the end result was that yesterday she was pissed at me because I'd stayed up drinking and smoking and ignoring her until well past sunrise, and I was sad and hungover and guilty and sore. I sat around for a while thinking about the various cruel paradoxes the universe forces upon us, in particular the one in this node's title, and then I wrote the paragraphs below for her, to tell her how I felt. And she read it and cried, and we talked and hugged and fiddled around on E2 and watched bits of a movie and made love and cuddled and now everything's OK.

Baby, if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind my public breach of privacy. Oh, and I love you. XXXX

Why do we always hurt the ones we love? Simply, because we must. Never wish for constant happiness, because even pleasure becomes bland in the absence of our pain with which we compare it; do not long for unbroken peace, for the only such peace is death; desire not a lifetime of agreeable companionship, since those who seem always in concurrence with us are either fools or simply too apathetic, too scornful of us to waste their breath in argument.

If a day passes when I anger you not even once, I will know that your love is dead. If you ever pull away from a kiss and I demand no explanation, know that mine is too. Those we care little for cannot truly hurt us. Only the person who can make your skin tingle with a simple smile, or make a miserable day suddenly beautiful with a brief phonecall, can also lacerate your psyche with a thoughtless act.

So when the time comes that I ignore an unresolved disagreement and sleep soundly near you, do not enjoy the unexpected calm, for it is a symptom of emotional anaesthesia. Wish, instead, that I storm off for a session of self-abuse, or yell or cry or grind my teeth; at least then you know I'm still hooked.

I love you. I love waking up next to you, I love when you roll into me in your sleep, I love your smile and touch and voice and mind. And I know that you love me just as much, not only when you kiss me but equally when you slap me. Keep it up.

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