The Smiths and Love or Like
‘When you cycled by, it began all my dreams, the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. And you never knew how much I really liked you. Because I never even told you. Oh, and I meant to.’ Back to the Old House- The Smiths
I’ve never been seduced by flowers or chocolates or even love poetry. Poetry about love tends to leave me cold, or worse, wanting to vomit. Especially John Donne. But for some reason, these lines have always struck a chord in me that vibrates endlessly around my heart when I hear them. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t mention love at all. Love is such a big abstraction that it’s kind of not really there. I have no idea what love is, or even if it’s real. You can’t hold love, you can’t turn it over in your hands. But ‘like’ has currency, it has fluency, I can see like. I can envisage the light blue of ‘like’. Love is passionate and glamourous, ‘like’ is oddly melancholic. ‘Like’ rings true. I’ve ‘really liked’ so many people, so many people who will never know. I can imagine what ‘really liking’ someone is. I don’t know what ‘really loving’ someone is. Love is just something we say to the sound bigger and better than ‘really liking’. Love is greater than like, but like is what I relate to better.