I think the biggest difference between love and obsession is that when you love someone you love their flaws…like that scene in Chinatown. When you’re obsessed, the recipient has no flaws; they’re idols of perfection dwelling among marble pillars. Love is knowing that the other person is, in fact a person, who eats and shits…and admiring every piece of that body in isolation as well as together. There’s an attraction in watching that powerful jaw rip off the flesh from a chicken leg in one swift motion, even if they get grease on their chin in the process. Or accepting that their shit exists but can fertilize the soil for the flowers to grow.
Obsession is anchoring yourself to the past, cycling again and again back to those few treasured memories–trying to preserve that perfect moment. There’s an unwillingness to process new information that conflicts with that impossible idea you’ve built them up to be in your head. With love, the focus remains on the future, changing and growing together. There’s a desire above all else to see them become the best they can be, and accepting it no matter what. Even if they grow apart from you in the process, at least it was here.
Obsession is an artificial construct–a gold statue on a pedestal–unattainable, cold and irresistible. It’s raising a person to the level of a God. Love is a natural bounty–it’s a tree sapling surrounded by weeds–lots of work but worth the reward when the apples sprout. It’s recognizing the fragile beauty of a real human being.
The Strangest Mating Ritual Ever
Hard left: I watched the episode of Star Trek where Spock gets horny and jeopardizes an important diplomatic mission as a result.
I just have to say, the Vulcan mating ritual is too convoluted and against their cult of logic to make sense. It’s far more consistent with their usual demeanor to breed like humanoid Salmon. I imagine the prehistoric Vulcan women burying their eggs in a dune for the men, compelled by instinct, to migrate back to the location of their birth in order to masturbate on the eggs in clinical, dignified privacy. In the modern era this might translate to the Vulcan women depositing the eggs at a hospital and the men traversing the heavens in their starship nuptial flight back to the Vulcan hospital to deliver a sperm sample. Most logical.
Instead it’s like this weird ceremony with hexagonal shields laden with bells being jingled by armored men and an old lady administering some kind of arcane prayer while the female-in-heat arbitrarily selects a male for her betrothed suitor to fight to the death because reasons. It’s like all the Vulcans decided to create the most ridiculously illogical mating ritual possible in order to get it out of their system once in a lifetime so the rest of the time they could carry on with their rationality. Like The Purge or something.
The whole thing made me think of that Walking with Dinosaurs segment about the ornithocheirus traveling back to the breeding zone to mate. Unfortunately, he gets there too late, plus he’s really old and past his prime. As a result, younger, more sexually fit males have already claimed the best spots on the beach and drive our hero to the outskirts of the breeding grounds. Despite this inability to compete with a new generation, the Ornithocheirus is driven by instinct try his luck anyway. So our reptilian protagonist sits on the scorching hot beach, calling for a mate in vain, watching the stronger Chad-pterosaurs get laid all around him. So overpowering is the animalian sex drive that our Ornithocheirus continues his unsuccessful mating calls until dying of exhaustion in the most degrading scenario imaginable. Scavengers pick at the sad remains of a once proud, virile creature brought low by age and feminine indifference. (Sounds like a more hardcore companion piece to La Voglia Matta, actually.)
Anyway, I imagined that scenario with the ornithocheirus playing out, but with a humanoid creature like Spock and had the strangest combo of laughter and arousal ever experienced on this Earth.