Harry Burns: I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing is, I love you.
Sally Albright: What?
Harry Burns: I love you.
Sally Albright: How do you expect me to respond to this?
Harry Burns: How about, you love me too.
Sally Albright: How about, I’m leaving.
-When Harry Met Sally (1989)
I did a tough, remarkable and somewhat out of character thing for myself last night. After stupidly having B. over the past week, and setting up Ava’s toy room together, the movies in which we tangled limbs on the couch and after he said, “I love you,” and I said, “I love you,” back- and he said, “but I can’t be with you,” (because he had an tenative plans with someone else,) I really didn’t hear anything else. I just told him to disappear. On an airplane, back go Guam- back to his life of saying tentative plans aren’t dates, but are commitments, pretending that he doesn’t care as much as he does- anything but saying, “I love you,” but in the same breath, “we’ll never be together again.” We’ve all done it. I’m the queen of, “I don’t know what I want, but I know I don’t want this.”
He was angry- in the way that he said his voice was probably going to be damaged from screaming so loud on the phone- to which I put the phone down and walked away. I heard the voice bellow in the hall and I wondered- because I was over being screamed at, if someday, he would be over screaming in the first place?
There are two types of tears: The healing kind? And the kind that forces you to examine why you’re crying in the first place. When the second time occurs, you’re able to say things of the extraordinary- things that matter and things that call to the real people that we are.
When I told him we could never be friends, because if that’s all it had been? I either misjudged to the point of vicious self-concern, or he was good at separating feelings from actions: And I wanted to live with them all- housed in the same body. In any case: He said he was angry and that if I was an ‘adult’ I could be his friend. I suppose, I’m proud to not be an adult then- because in recognizing I can’t play pretend with someone- I have the power. When we say what we want and we give ourselves the permission to be hurt, or angry- we heal faster, go father and live fuller. Adults do not scream at each other on the phone. Adults do not play games with tentative plans and regular plans.
I’m not really sure what an ‘adult’ does, since all of our different definitions make it almost like a state of being instead of an age. Today? I choose adulthood.
And Cake. It’s Ava’s party and I’m rocking out.