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The man I love is not an optimist. I say this instead of admitting to the purity of his pessimism because he likes to employ negatives, and believe me, his payrolls are extensive. I know, I know. It must be difficult to love an optimist. Or else, perhaps easier to love a pessimist. No earnestness to stop the eyes from rolling away from, no beliefs in the best to mock internally and cheer externally. No having to secretly say, cloaked in night and spotlighted by stars, I agree, I do, I do. Only harsh comments to brush off that cause splinters like wood chips when touched. Only ill-timed revelations on the meaningless of it all, only existential scabs to be picked at until they bleed. The thing about the glass only ever being half empty is that you’re always thirsty. And yet…
I like the look of my heels against his hiking boots, the way he’ll whisper quotes in my ear in the morning, the taste of his cigarette in my mouth because, as he says, he’s gonna die anyway. It’s the mismatched that make some of the best pairs. It’s the smile at the dark that is one of the brightest. Sometimes, casually over lunch, he says, “I know that the sun will come again tomorrow but it’ll probably be raining.”
And I’ll say, “I love the rain.”
Sometimes, at a friend’s birthday celebration, he says, “These feelings we all have for everything can’t be healthy.”
And depending on the day, I’ll say, “Neither is that cigarette,” or “that drink,” or “that look.”
Look, sometimes, there exists no response and he turns to me, takes my body in his hands, and says, “One day, this flesh will be dust and this love will be even less.” Yes, it must be difficult to love an optimist. But not by much.

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