Word Issues #1: A Love Letter

Dear old lexicon of the Polish language,

As much as I love and adore you, I want you to know that there are parts of you that have stopped meaning anything to me, and there are also parts of you that never meant anything to me. It’s a cruel thing to say but they say love is cruel, and this doesn’t mean anything to me either but I repeat what I’ve heard many times because you’re supposed to repeat what you’ve heard many times. As in, you know, repetition.
Oh, please, don’t! You really don’t have to remind me that you don’t like repetition. I don’t like it either but I do it because I’m supposed to do it because you’re supposed to do what you’re supposed to do.
Hang on. I’ve some meaningful things to say to you.

Let me begin by saying that there aren’t no things metaphysical (“metafizycznych”). As in, you know, I wish for something metaphysical to start happening in my life. Every time I hear a thing like that, I want to throw up my very physical last meal from the dark abyss of my also very physical guts. Why? Because it makes me sick to hear someone speak of love (they usually mean love; we’re so very much concerned with love here) as something metaphysical. Why? Because I’m a picker-on-words. And why else? Because I have a very deep, profound, indeed almost metaphysical conviction that love is physical.
I’m feeling childlike as I write it, so I’ll ask once again: Why?
Because love happens in the physical world among physical people who on a very physical level experience attraction, and lust, and uncertainty, and attachment, and suffering, and happiness. Because it’s also about sharing vaginal fluids, and a flat, and plans, and thoughts, all of which are physical. And no one will convince me that the activity of a person planning a life with another, or thinking (as in I’m thinking of you all the time when I don’t think about anything else), is anything other than physical. Aren’t neurons physical?
I once thought of love as metaphysical because I heard some story saying that it was that, and you’re supposed to think what you’ve been told, and if you’ve been told things beautiful but untrue, you’re supposed to think things beautiful but untrue.
But then I found out that love is physical, and beautiful, and true; and the part of you, my dear language, which describes love as metaphysical has lost its meaning to me.

Crushing as it may be, my dear, there is also a part of you that never meant anything to me. A broken part with identity issues and a long history of abuse, it occupies a rather uncomfortable place in your structure. I’ll squeeze my fingers so as not to throw up, and I’ll say it: this part is the word romantic (“romantyczny”). Now, why do I get nauseous at that? That’s so unromantic of me. Even more so than not having watched Love, Actually, right?
I get (metaphorically! almost like meta…) nauseous because I can’t stand the abuse to which this word has been subjected, and the way that has shattered its very identity. This is serious shit, you know, when people describe the practice of giving flowers or useless presents as romantic. The shit’s equally serious when they use this word to refer to a sky that you’re supposed to admire because there are white and pink smudges on it, and for some reason you’re supposed to think of them as admirable. It’s dead serious when they then use it in the negative to refer to you if you don’t find the smudges admirable.
But seriously, the shit reaches its utmost level of seriousness when you hear someone dismiss someone else altogether because the useless presents mentioned before aren’t provided. Like the rings, and teddy bears, and stuff are what romance is about. Like being romantic is a requirement. Like I no longer know what to think when I hear this word because it has so many meanings, none of which means much to me, and what am I supposed to do now!?
I didn’t know what I was supposed to do but you have to think something up when you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, so I did think up the idea that I can dismiss a word from my private lexicon when I don’t know how to use it. It has stopped meaning anything to me since then, and now every time I hear it I have to construe its meaning anew. This is serious… but quite a useful practice in this case.

I have to finish. My heart is broken because I repeat things like My heart is broken, and it breaks my heart to do so. I’ll end this letter by saying that I love you. There are parts of you that are truly shitty, and I love you in spite of them. But please: don’t ram these parts of you down my throat. It’s not fun, and I might throw up.

All yours,


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I'm an unprofessional writer, reader and translator. I'm also a walking, breathing and listening addict. And I love being all that.

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