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  • Bought in Beirut, I love the t-shirt but seldom wear it. Maybe I should. I am smaller now. It should fit well, but I didn’t buy it for the fit. I bought it for the graphic.

    On the front of the shirt, a two-dimensional man sits in profile with a lock on his forehead. The shop owner told me what it meant. It did mean something, but I can’t remember what. Maybe I never really understood. Instead, I assigned my own meaning.

    For me, the shirt means that my mind is locked. The destination is full. No space available.

    Generally, I reset at night, but last night, I did not sleep. I haven’t slept much over the past few weeks. I have not cleared the cache. At some point soon, I will have to force a reboot. I need the disk space.

    I think it’s my head and the stress of recent weeks with work and volunteering. I think it’s the holidays and shift in routine. I think it’s the food from the holidays and a shift in that, too. I think. I think too much.

    My head is full. My mind is locked and I keep blundering through piles of information, knocking over stacks that should have gone out with the trash.

    “There's nothing you can know that isn't known,” the Beatles croon from somewhere amidst the stacks. “Nothing you can see that isn't shown. There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be. It's easy… All you need is love.”

    And that’s where they lose me.

    “All you need is love. All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”

    Love? Love is all I need?

    I need a nap. I need a shower. I need another cup of tea. I need to focus on this book that I am reading or I will never finish it, not even with 35 weeks to go, not even then. I need to get over myself. I need to snap out of it.

    I love this song in this coffee shop. I love talking to my brother. I love sitting across from my brother and not talking at all while we geek out. I love my sister, her kids, and my parents. Our steps. I love my friends, warts and all. I love the guy selling Street Sense in a striped stovepipe hat. Phillip.

    I love doing good even more than doing well. I love knowing the phases and names of the moon. I love the phrase “waxing gibbous.” I love watching the sun rise even more than sunset, but I love that one, too. I love this shirt. I love superhero tees and movies based on comic books. I love walking and feeling my legs push me forward through time and space. I love sitting still, being still, being quiet.

    I love words. I love numbers. I love writing formulas and figuring out how to make things work, big complex ideas. I love learning. I love learning new software. I love the feel of fresh sheets and sleeping in my own bed after several nights away. I love going away.

    Some time ago, I had my heart broken into a million jagged pieces by someone who didn’t care, not really, not at all, about the breaking. He told me that it was my own fault for having a heart and putting it in a position to be broken, and maybe he was right. I wanted to be loved. I thought that was all that I needed and it was.

    But it wasn’t.

    That wasn't love. Food isn’t love. Sex isn’t love. You can’t make someone love you.

    Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is an open door. Love is a four-letter word. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend (Martin Luther King, Jr.). Love isn't something you find. Love is something that finds you (Loretta Young). Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up (James A. Baldwin).

    It is love, all of it, none of it, the space in between and the breaking. In thinking about love, writing, wrestling with my thoughts, somehow I have manage to defragment the machine. I have cleared the cache. The lock has sprung.

    Maybe the Beatles were right. Love really is all I need. It is all I have ever needed. Though, I could still use another cup of tea.


    “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
    - Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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