Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love Stinks

"I love you so much. Even though we only just met 24 hours ago and you're about to be blown to smithereens by a German mortar shell."

I write a lot about love. 
I can't avoid it. 
In any given story there's got to be a love element. Whether it's about falling in love, or out of love, or about avoiding love for a moment or two of lust, which can be lovely but entirely devoid of being in love...if you catch my drift.

Bear with me here.

Truth be told, I'm a total sap. So what that means is, I'm especially attracted to those stories that not only pit one man against the world, but that also contain an almost impossible to fulfill love story. You know, the stories about unrequited love, or love that's crushed due to vast distances in geography, time, or space. Then there's the love and war stories that made Papa so famous, and even the Hammett-style hard-boiled drama of the private detective who falls in love with the "dame" who turns out to be a black window. In the end he's got no choice but to watch her being carted away to jail while he flips up the collar on his leather coat, lights a cigarette with his Zippo, and walks away from it all in the rain-soaked neon lit darkness. If you've never read my noir novels, THE INNOCENT, MOONLIGHT FALLS or even SCREAM CATCHER, it's the latter image of love-gone-wrong that you will inevitably receive. 

Realistic...Even more yes.

I'm one of those authors who like Hemingway or Mailer likes to taut the tough guy image in his main characters (even if the main character is a woman like in CONCRETE PEARL). But I also like to show off their sensitive side. Mostly I do this by proving how prone they are to falling head over heels for someone (as opposed to heels over head). They don't just love with a logical perspective attached to the emotion. They love until it hurts; until they can't sleep or eat or function as a productive human being. In a word, they suffer love so much that they are reduced to a sweat-soaked bundle of or rags and bones. When these ill-fated characters are separated from their love interests by either geography or breakup, their imaginations play evil tricks in them. So evil that Richard "Dick" Moonlight, anti-hero of my Moonlight series, once placed a .22 caliber revolver to his head, and pulled the trigger. 

That "Love is Kind" Bible passage that always gets read at weddings is pure bullshit.

Love isn't kind.
Love stinks. 
Love hurts.
Love sneaks up on you when you least expect it.
Love is not friendly.
Love is like water torture. 
Love will drive you to drink.
Love causes suicide.
Love sucks.
But for some reason, love is what we all crave and live for.

Falling hopelessly in love is unbearable. Especially when you find someone whom you've been searching for your whole life and by reasons of timing or commitment to another, can't quite as easily give the love back. Even if she wants to more than anything in the world. 
Such is life. 
Such is romance.
Such is Cupid's painfully sharp arrow.



  1. :( You know my thoughts on this. I'm the complete opposite. I'm all about the HFN. But there in it defines our differences. I'm a romance author and you are the Prince of Noir.

  2. Vincent, my curiosity followed your Twitter posting to here, and I can't disagree with you as I'm also a sap. You channeled your feeling into mysteries, and I went a whole different direction looking at love in a funny way. Pardon my mentioning my new book LOVE AT ABSOLUTE ZERO, but it's romance from a male perspective--a male physicist, no less, who feels everything can be reduced to science, including love.

    Yes, falling in love becomes unbearable, yet Gunnar, my protagonist, discovers something unusual. While I thought this book would be for men, it's women who are talking about it. They're pondering what makes Gunnar go. Men know.

  3. I like your premise Christopher and your title. Sounds fun.

  4. I just compiled a soon-to-be-released book of poetry that explores many, many facets of love - the good, the bad, and the indifferent, so this post really resonated with me! I so agree about that Bible verse you mentioned - Corinthians something or the other, right? I used to buy into that crap hook, line, and sinker. Then I lived... LOL!!

  5. Hi Vincent,
    I love it when you put your emotions out there. I guess I just don't agree. Love is kind. ;-)

    At least in my world, where my health, occupation, and everything else is in the crapper. Thank god for love. BUT when I was the sickest, I also became the most mental. (meds and illness will do that to one). So, I was pushing away the one person who could help me.

    Thankfully he was smart enough to realize that the meds were causing my mental problems. But if I had another man around who was not as smart or less resolute - I might be alone and dead.

    I am not exaggerating.


  6. PS - my family was urging him to put me into a mental institute. However when the meds were reduced, my mental problems disappeared. That is when my docs realized that I have a severe reaction to high dosages of prednisone.