Enough Time For Love


I have a recurring dream of me and her waking up next to each other on a spring weekend morning. The sun is past dawn, the sky blue, our sheets tangled, and my heart full. I turn over and see that she’s faced away from me. In some dreams the nape of her neck is covered by long hair, in others it’s short. Sometimes her skin is dark and gorgeous, other times it’s fair and beautiful.

When I actually wake up, my bed is smaller and empty. I toss around and find no one else besides me. Some moments pass and I accept that it was a dream, and I close my eyes for a few more moments trying to grasp for the emotions I felt. They slip away.

The morning is darkened by the loneliness. Spring and summer mornings are dimmed, while fall and winter mornings feel like night. If it’s overcast and raining, I feel the insult to injury. Honest men don’t kick stray dogs while they’re down like this, so why did God choose to kick me?

Coffee usually shakes me out of the mood. Well, coffee and the fact that most days I have these dreams, I also have work. Morning meetings sober me up and I forget she ever existed.


Love makes me bittersweet. But like a sore on the inside of your cheek, I can’t help but poking it. I find love almost everywhere I go – couples on dates on the street, movies, gossip, the works. I can’t avoid it, and so instead of ducking my head and trying to ignore it I keep prodding the damn thing in hopes of figuring it out.

I think about love a lot. I’d be lying if I said I’m not envious of people who are in love. And they know they deserve the envy. Real love feels one a million, maybe even one in ten-million or truly impossible.

Sometimes I think about how life developing on our planet is a miracle. Maybe that’s why we haven’t heard from aliens yet. And then I think about all the miracles of life that happened to result in Homo sapiens. How many species fought and struggled and died in the Darwinian gauntlet to finally create us? How many?

And how many miracles of human civilization had to happen to get here? We stumble across fire, agriculture, electricity, science, engineering, philosophy, religion, language, writing – all miracles of history.

And our great-great-great-great-great…grandparents through a lineage of accidents and fate came together to birth us. My mom failed to escape Vietnam on a boat and ended up in a prison camp for two-weeks where she could’ve died. My dad moved to Canada when he was five and could’ve stayed there for the rest of his life. My parents never should’ve met. Yet they did. And they fell in love. Then they had me.

People in love know all the tiny and big miracles that had to happen for them to meet. They know that against all odds, they found each other in this place and time.

How can you not be envious of that?


I said love makes me bittersweet, so enough with the bitter, it’s time for the sweet.

I used to worry that I wouldn’t have enough time with my future love. My love life seems so hopeless that I fear that when I find her, we won’t have much time together.

But how much time is enough, anyway? Maybe I have more time than I think.

Two centuries ago US life expectancy was 40 years old. To love someone for a lifetime was to love them for, optimistically, 20 or 30 years. In 1865, during the Civil War, lots of men died in their 20s leaving widows that never remarried. So many of those couples only got to love for a few years.

Today, life expectancy is 79 years old. Compared to people 200 years ago, we get two lifetimes to live. Even if I’m an especially late bloomer, marrying someone in my late 30s or early 40s, I can still hope have a longer relationship than most couples 200 years ago.

So I’ve made peace with not finding love any time soon. We’re the lucky ones. We have more time to kill than most people ever got.

I’ll spend a lifetime finding her and another lifetime being in love. Shouldn’t that be enough?