Difficult Desire: Stories of Love Lost and Found

By Courtney Quinlan
I desire love.

Capital L O V E.

True, down to the bone, down to the wire, fall on a sword love. The kind of love that consumes, like a fire eating oxygen, the kind that wraps you up and makes your skin glow.

I want someone who loves me for my flaws, my imperfections, my disabilities. Someone who doesn’t see these as a burden, yet loves me in spite of them.

I want someone who doesn’t mistake my kindness for weakness.

I want to lay in bed quietly and read poetry and short stories or pieces of novels and quotes from science fiction stories to someone as they rest their head on my breast and listen to the rumble of my heartbeat.

I want someone who sees me doing ordinary things and captures them in photographs because there is a strange beauty or something haunting. Someone who sees me as an artform because they see beauty in tiny things, like the way I watch a sunset or walk down dirt roads barefoot, or the way I stop when I hear birds sing and run my fingers over fern fronds.

I desire a challenge, someone who isn’t afraid to debate me or to stand next to a strong woman who is used to doing things on her own. Someone who knows I prefer daisies to roses because they are wild. Because they aren’t cliché and I find them more romantic because they aren’t supposed to be. I want someone who doesn’t always agree with me.

I desire a lover of books and words and art. I want a person who surprises me for no reason, who leaves me little love letters around the house just because. Someone I can share the silence with, who can see my tears and sit with them, not try to wipe them away, but who watches them fall down my face and simply reaches out to hold my hand, not saying anything.

I want someone who looks at my son the way I do, the way his father should have. Someone who loves his quirkiness and his unique perspective on life. Someone who laughs with us, not at us.

I desire love.

A kind of love I realize I have never known, never seen, never had modeled for me.

I want love without hesitation, without walls or my usual patterns at keeping people close, yet still at bay. I want to open my eyes and arms and ears and legs and truly let someone inside, to the depths that hands or fingers can’t reach, to the core, the place I store the hurt and humiliation, the abandonment and self doubt. I want someone who can witness. Someone who can see me. Someone who can recognize the pain and the tenacity.

I desire to watch someone sleeping and just stare peacefully at them and wonder what they’re dreaming. I want to know true intimacy, what it feels like to make love instead of fucking. I want to sweat with someone’s body and taste their salt in my mouth. I want to tell someone I love them from the depths I have yet to discover.

I desire love.
I desire to be loved.
I desire fierce and unwavering love.

Loyal love.

Love that doesn’t run away when life is ugly, when the ground falls out from underneath me.

I don’t need a hero.
I don’t want to be saved.
I don’t want someone feeling sorry for me.

I desire someone who sees my strength, who sees my fight. I desire a love that captivates and grows and changes with me.

I know this may not happen. I know we all don’t find this love we seek. I realize I may be alone. I know that I feel lonely.

I desire to love myself,

even more than I desire someone else to love me.

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Courtney Quinlan
I am the Camilla to Dawn’s Gonzo. Just a quirky chicken in love with the strange and bizarre. I’ve always had a wild imagination and love being extra (if not overly) descriptive with my words. I love the art of writing, how you can fit words together like a puzzle and rearrange and explore new ways of expression. I’m a poetry and prose girl at heart, although I like to dip my toes into other areas and have a short list of books I intend to get to work on at some point rattling around in this brain. I’m a fiery single mama to a quirky boy with autism who has the most interesting perspectives on life. I’m a fierce advocate for the underdogs in whatever shape or form they may be. I love getting lost in the woods, communing with nature. I’m fairly unfiltered and if you ask me a question, you’ll get a heartfelt and honest answer. I don’t believe in hiding behind my truths. I’m not an extremely graceful person and can often be found tripping over my own feet or wandering aimlessly around the house searching for my keys. I am not above embarrassing myself and often find my own humor hilarious even when others don’t!
Courtney Quinlan

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