Happy Valentine’s Day from What Does The Protagonist Want


I’m a man, I’m an idiot, it follows. I’m a man, I’m an idiot.

I’m human, that’s the problem. I’m human, I’m an idiot, it follows. I’m human, I’m an idiot. You can’t teach me anything, I won’t learn, I’ll never learn, I can’t learn, I’m an idiot, I’m trapped and you can’t teach me anything.

You ever look into someone’s eyes and been reduced to the size of a pin? A pin, a pinpoint of light, been reduced to a pinpoint of light? You ever see someone toss their hair back and it made you fall silent? You could be talking to someone — “Oh, yes, the third episode with the dwarf was the best” — and they do this –

[imitation of hair-flip]

— and you fall silent. Because, you know why? Because Something Important Has Happened. Or, or, you’re talking to this person, this person, this certain person who makes your heart want to get in your car and turn on some rockabilly and drive somewhere, and you’re hanging on every word this person says, and then this person says something like —

…”that would be nice”…

— and it dislodges this rock, somewhere in the deep stream of your subconscious this rock is dislodged, and you find yourself thinking about things you haven’t thought about in years. Am I ugly? Do I need some mints? How come I never read any Shelley? Jesus, do I weigh that much? This rock is dislodged, it sets off an avalanche in your head that wipes out everything else in your brain.

And you fall silent. It’s like you’re in church, it’s like you’re worshipping. Because you are in church. You are worshipping. You are having a religious experience.

Why? Why this person? Who is this person? What do you know about this person? Doesn’t this person have terrible taste in music? Doesn’t this person smoke? Isn’t this person ten years older than you? Isn’t this person not attracted to your sex? Doesn’t this person think you’re an insignificant blot on an otherwise charming landscape? Isn’t this person the rudest, clumsiest, most incorrigibly maddeningly frustratingly difficult person you’ve ever met in your life? Well? Then why? Why are you talking to this person? What is the point? Why are you bothering? Why do I find myself in this exact same position right now?!

Because —

[gesture to body]

— this, you see, this, you know what this is, this is flesh. It’s all I’ve got. It’s all they gave me. I didn’t get a book of rules. I didn’t get a wise old mind that could see into the future and tell me that these feelings would die, that lovemaking would become rote and tiresome, that I would lose interest, that we would get into fights over things like, like white-out!

I didn’t get that mind, my mind doesn’t say those things, my mind says things like YES! My mind says things like NOW! My mind says things like DANCE, like, like, KISS, like, like, GRAB THIS PERSON NOW! GRAB THIS PERSON NOW!

I don’t know what it is, of course I don’t know what it is. It’s not meant to be known, not by us, not by me, not in this life, not in this world. It’s a feeling, that’s all, it’s a feeling, you know it when you feel it, it’s like these jaws snapping shut on you, on me, like they’ve shut on me, and I’m trapped, because, because, I’m a man, I’m an idiot, it follows, like I said, these jaws are as big as the fucking universe, and they’ll chew me up and spit me out, and I’ll never learn, I’m trapped, I’m an idiot, and I’m trapped in the jaws of love.

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6 Responses to “Happy Valentine’s Day from What Does The Protagonist Want”
  1. e_ticket says:

    Trapped in the jaws and they just keep on swimming forward.

    Lovely. Thanks for that.

  2. lupa says:

    wow, that’s really astonishingly well-done. thank you!

  3. My friend Dave/e_ticket pointed me to your LJ today. Great, powerful writing. Thank you!

  4. teamwak says:


    This is the last year I dont have a date on Valentines Day!! lol Casual hook-ups dont count on this day 😉

    I have plans (he says)