He’s sitting at the bar telling me some sad, intimate story (that I goaded him into spilling because I like seeing the insides of people’s souls), and I can tell from the look in his eyes, that sudden fluttering of emotion, that this is the exact moment when, yes, like a revelation, I put my hand on his hand. And I wrap my arm around his neck, and I look into his eyes like I’m peeling back his skin and peering straight into his heart, which right now is full of sadness, and with my most maternal tenderness, I whisper, “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
This is a situation I engineered all on my own, so that I could be there to catch him when he fell. It’s part of the formula of falling in love: perceived vulnerability. You see, the thing about vulnerability is that it’s scary when you’re vulnerable with someone who doesn’t know how to hug you and tell you everything’s going to be okay. But I’m seasoned and I know how these human emotions work. I mean, fuck, I’ve been alive this long, of course I understand the commonality of the mechanisms of our inner emotions. I know how the machine of the soul works. I know which buttons to push. So I push him into loving me because that’s what I want because isn’t that what anybody wants? Don’t we all just want to be loved? I mean, yeah, you could say that pulling strings is just another form of manipulation, but it’s a benevolent act when we’re both craving the same end game. I want him to love me. And he wants to love me. So I’m going to make it easy for both of us.