There are moments in every relationship that define when two people start to fall in love.A first glanceA first smileA first kissA first fall…(I remove the Darth Vader house shoes from my satchel and look down at them.)You were wearing these during one of those moments.One of the moments I first started to fall in love with you.The way you gave me butterflies that morningHad absolutely nothing to do with anyone else,and everything to do with you.I was falling in love with you that morningbecause of you.(I take the next item out of the satchel. When I pull it out and look up, she brings her hands to her mouth in shock.)This ugly little gnomeWith his smug little grin…He's the reason I had an excuse to invite you into my house.Into my life.You took a lot of aggression out on him over those next few months.I would watch from my window as you would kick him over every time you walked by him.Poor little guy.You were so tenacious.That feisty, aggressive, strong-willed side of you….The side of you that refused to take crap from this concrete gnome?The side of you that refused to take crap from me?I fell in love with that side of youbecause of you.(I set the gnome down on the stage and grab the CD)This is your favorite CD‘Layken’s shit.’Although now I know you intended for shit to be possessive, rather than descriptive.The banjo started playing through the speakers of your carand I immediately recognized my favorite band.Then when I realized it was your favorite band, too?The fact that these same lyrics inspired both of us?I fell in love with that about you.That had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.I fell in love with that about youbecause of you.(I take a slip of paper out of the satchel and hold it up. When I look at her, I see Eddie slide her a napkin. I can’t tell from up here, but that can only mean she’s crying.)This is a receipt I kept.Only because the item I purchased that night was on the verge of ridiculous.Chocolate milk on the rocks? Who orders that?You were different and you didn’t care.You were being you.A piece of me fell in love with you at that moment,because of you.This? (I hold up another sheet of paper.)This I didn’t really like so much.It’s the poem you wrote about me.The one you titled 'mean?'I don’t think I ever told you…but you made a zero.And then I kept itto remind myself of all the things I never want to be to you.(I pull her shirt from my bag. When I hold it into the light, I sigh into the microphone.)This is that ugly shirt you wear.It doesn’t really have anything to do with why I fell in love with you.I just saw it at your house and thought I’d steal it.
Colleen Hoover
Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people in the West have a hard time accepting: All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not. A culture that celebrates femininity and considers women to be the masters of their own lives is better than a culture that mutilates girls’ genitals and confines them behind walls and veils or flogs or stones them for falling in love. A culture that protects women’s rights by law is better than a culture in which a man can lawfully have four wives at once and women are denied alimony and half their inheritance. A culture that appoints women to its supreme court is better than a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. It is part of Muslim culture to oppress women and part of all tribal cultures to institutionalize patronage, nepotism and corruption. The culture of the Western Enlightenment is better. In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn’t translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance and abuse. Many people genuinely feel pain at the thought of the death of whole cultures. I see this all the time. They ask, Is there nothing beautiful in these cultures? Is there nothing beautiful in Islam? There is beautiful architecture, yes and encouragement of charity, yes, but Islam is built on sexual inequality and on the surrender of individual responsibility and choice. This is not just ugly; it is monstrous.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Maybe we're just falling stars, we once danced in the same skyline looking down at the world. And we've fallen like all others, from near and far, we've gathered together, but separated by time and space, keeping a part of that light that we've came with and spreading it in this dark world that we've chosen to live in, in order to shine some light and love around. Maybe we've chosen to believe one truth today and find it to be false tomorrow. Maybe we're trying to not get attached to the idea that we now know it all. At night, we see the truth of where we've fallen from, gazing in that night sky full of distant stars, constellations, planets, the reflection of the sun on the moon, all with their own stories to tell. Sometimes we wonder why would we leave such a mysterious place, with an infinite amount of stories and wonders. Maybe it's because as stars we could've only seen each other's light from afar, but here we can listen more carefully to each other's story, embrace each other and kiss, discover more and more of what can be seen when infinite star dust potential is put into one body and given freedom to walk the Earth and wander, love and enjoy every moment until coming back. Maybe in the morning, we'll only see one star shining up there and forget the others. Maybe that is also how life and death is and the beauty of the sunrise and sunset that come in between, our childhood years and old years, when we reflect on the stars that we once were and that we will once again be. Maybe, just maybe.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache