“She took a knife for me.”

I was passing by and saw him. He was sitting where he had sat all day, doing his thing. He was too drunk to recognize me again. The last time he was like this, his heart was twisting again because of her – she was always a complication. I asked him how he was doing.

“She broke her back.” He said with despairing eyes.

“What? How?” I wasn’t expecting that.

“She fell 15 feet. Broke her back! She’s in the hospital now. I have to go to Austin and take care of her.” He started weeping. “Fuck! I was headed north! I was on my my way. Now I’ll have to push her around in a wheel chair. Probably for two months, or longer? While she’s screaming at me! Fuck! I was about leave! Going north, man!”

He was crying and cursing. I saw love in his eyes, and pain. He apologized for being a crying drunk and I told him to not be ridiculous.

“She took a knife for me.” He said.

“She what?” I didn’t think I heard him correctly.

“She took a knife for me. You don’t forget that. I took one for her too.” He lifted up his shirt and showed me a big, gnarled scar on his abdomen – where a knife had dug and twisted. “I have to go take care of her. ”

I didn’t know what to say. I knew I would need to hear that story, of how that all went down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. Love has become a quest of mine. I need love to be in the real – not a word, not a concept. I want to chase it down and deal with it – to taste it – to know it – have it change me. I want it to flow through me – become part of my roots. I want people to know me for my love.

I know so little about it, though I have learned much – as I myself open my heart and stay raw – giving love until I’m emptied. It has led me this far – love always finds me – and I’m always surprised by it. And I meet it again, in this broken down man.  “She took a knife for me.”  That’s love.

I don’t have any scars like that. I have not loved enough.