If God Is Dead, Does Love Exist?

February 8, 2021 — 44 Comments

“I don’t want to see you anymore. I don’t love you,” he said. I hung up the phone to the sound of an intruder pounding at my door, which was actually my heart. My chest thudded with all the ways I have been unlovable, will always be unlovable. The room was still and I heard a squawking flock of wayward birds high above my house, no doubt lost on their journey south.  “Alone,” they cried. “Alone!” Alone! Alone!”

God is dead. I believe that there is some force in the universe greater than us which unites us, but the existence of a divine creator who gave us the world, and sustains it with his love, is a delusion. If God is alive, why has no one ever seen him? As they say, pics or it didn’t happen.

Richard Dawkins claimed belief in God is a “virus of the mind” and it is no more evident than when a predatory virus of the body claws through the world unchecked. We are pivoting to a new normal. Societal disparities are glaring as some are rendered homeless, while others stand on social distance markers at the Mercedes dealership. Love in the time of Covid is less about connection and community and more about Amazon prime, a roomy house and a 30-pack of Charmin.

With so much free time, how can one accomplish anything meaningful?

But there is tequila and weed and transcendent sex and men who make you feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, minus the part where she’s a hooker, although all relationships are transactional in nature; it’s been proven that men who help with the housework get more sex hashtag #choreplay. There is the regal feeling of being helped out of a car and dreamy mid-afternoon naps and laughter and Netflix and cuddling and motorcycle rides and idyllic afternoons on a boat.

But that is not love.

Love is a vast, mysterious ocean that inexplicably swells and subsides. I wish I could say I disdainfully quoted Lizzo lyrics to him and hung up, but being told I was unloved dissolved the protective steel cage around my heart. A cacophony of voices rang through the night, bombarding me with stories of profound loss and rape and neglect and abandonment, stories that proved my unlovability and I might have mistaken the stabbing pains in my chest for cardiac arrest had I not known the familiar symptoms of a panic attack.

I considered going to the hospital to quiet the pain with a tranquilizer drip, but the emergency room is not an option when God is dead and there’s a global pandemic. I could not bring myself to look into the face of an exhausted, overwhelmed ER doctor draped in personal protective equipment and tell him, “I am here because I am unlovable, because God is dead and I am scared, and by the way, are you single?”

Nietzche pronounced God dead on arrival. As did Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kant. Victor Hugo said “God is dead, perhaps” in Les Miserables, which despite being the world’s longest running musical, questions the existence of God, which challenges the reality of love, for which I have no definitive proof as I’ve been known to stay in a relationship simply because the man had tickets to Hamilton.

Philosophers deny the existence of God, scientists deny the existence of love, renowned psychiatrists blame everything on sex and our genitalia. God, sex, love and death. God is the presence of love, sex is the opposite of death, and everything is “on account mother had narrow vagine,” according to Freud, or maybe that was Borat, but still.

“Does he know how funny and smart and cool you are?” my best friend asked when we first started dating. But cool is not currency. End-of-days currency is food, bullets and sex, none of which are love. I was only a five-month pit stop; a red-headed lusty oasis in a desert of dehydrated blond Republicans. I was not to be taken seriously. I knew that immediately upon seeing pictures of his last girlfriend, a beautiful, sexless blonde Golden Girl, the picture of stylish Upper East side alimony in impeccable Chanel suit and sensible designer shoes. He regularly reminded me how much money he had spent on his ice queen, buying her extravagant designer purses in which she delicately carried his balls.

What on earth was he doing with a neurotic New York Jew sporting tattoos and a sordid past; a writer, a dreamer, potty-mouthed and unfiltered, ready to start a revolution if only she could find a clean bra, one of those women still trapped in her favorite decade of music (the 90’s), clad in leather leggings and thigh-high boots?

Love is a mysterious monolith and perverse in its inexplicability; he had proposed to his most recent ex despite the fact that she was unkind and demeaning, and that her favorite part of his body was his wallet. Maybe it was because she threw cozy dinner parties for the local chapter of the NRA, hobnobbed with other uptight rich people, shopped at Saks, wintered in Florida, acted like summer and walked like rain. Someone remind her that there’s time to change, hey he-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y.

My dentist, who unofficially doubles as my shrink, asked, “Did you want to grow old with him?” and I resisted the urge to smarmily answer that at 10 years my senior, he was already there. Instead, I shrugged helplessly. I can only say I was magnetized to his tall strong body and spending time with him was the highlight of my week, but is that love? I have no clue and was suddenly stingingly jealous of this man’s absolute certainty of what love feels like and that he did not feel it for me.

COVID 19 is undoubtedly the Angel of Death, proof of God’s demise. So is people refusing to wear masks in viral hotspots, and racist YouTubers getting rich off of teary eyed apology videos, or maybe God is just a dick. And storybook love is something we’re brainwashed into believing during the halftime show at the Superbowl.

Scientists know that love is an explosion of chemicals in the brain, stimulating hormones and creating euphoria. But to be in love is the willingness to want to be in love, and despite all that activity in the limbic systems of our frontal lobes, he was not in love with me because he did not choose me.

Love does exist. For me, soulmate love is an ocean too big and mysterious to contain, so I hold a small part of it in my pocket and call it joy. Love exists because something keeps me luminous, and aside from my ten-step Korean skincare routine and all of the men who in this most absurd of times keep texting me for dinner dates (God may be dead but you gotta eat, right?), something keeps me in the light and it might just be that I passionately love myself.

And God is not dead; perhaps, it is only that we have stopped believing in Him, or even more likely, He has stopped believing in us.

How are you all holding up in this crazy time?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

44 responses to If God Is Dead, Does Love Exist?

  1. 

    Wow. Just beautiful, like all your other pieces. Thank you so much for sharing the beauty of your words and thoughts and bits of your heart and brain that you choose to share. This is eminently lovable, just like you. Thank you again so much.

  2. 
    barbaramullenix February 8, 2021 at 8:41 am

    I’ve missed you! Thanks for coming back.

  3. 

    Sorry he broke your heart, but damn if this isn’t some of the best writing EVER. Is the dentist single?

    • 

      Wow that’s a great compliment! And he didn’t break my heart, it was just a dent. It’s gone now, and I WISH my dentist was single, but sadly he is not. xoxoxo

  4. 

    It’s been a long time – missed you.

  5. 

    Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    Samara is back after a long pause.

  6. 

    Hey, been there a long, long time ago. In the long decades following, I came to understand, love is not the fairytale we see in mags. and movies, but nor is it an illusion. Intangible yes, illogical yes yet common and down to earth, Like God or the wind it is something we cannot feel or control, only see and feel its effects. Run after it and it vanishes, try to possess it and it runs from you. Rather observe it, partake of its warmth in the lives you touch. Then you can rejoice when you must release it from your grasp for you know as long as your heart is open it will return in another form.

    • 

      I feel like love is everywhere, and I also believe it takes time to bloom. So foolish to discount something because one does not feel hopelessly in love after 5 months, but I can only say, with great certainty, that it is his loss, and wish him well.
      Thank you for your comment.

  7. 

    Hi Samara. In the interim since we have spoken, I found my soulmate only to lose her to cancer. I am so adrift, it was nice to see your light on.

  8. 

    Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
    So glad to read you. So glad to hear that you love you. And the guy… And love… And God… It’s all a choice, yes. I think thats right. That feels right. That’s what I choose to think… What I choose to believe.

    • 

      Heyyyyyy right back at you! Some things never die, like our friendship. It’s been 7 or so years, did you realize?

      I do love me! And you! And am loved by so many. I had a dark night of the soul, and it created these words, so there you have it. Maybe everything doesn’t happen for a reason, but certainly we can repurpose most things.
      That got deep, but that’s how we do. xoxoxoxoxo

  9. 

    I am just glad you share all this with us. And Agape is possible but we have to get past all our wounds first and change the game for the next gen- which we are doing. God isn’t dead nor has God lost faith in us…we just evolve SO SLOWLY in our hearts.

    • 

      We do evolve slowly, it’s taken me DECADES to get to this place of positivity and light. I am so much happier and more evolved than ever before in my life, but it’s an over 50-year journey.
      It is what it is, and you’re such a good friend. Thank you for being here, and commenting.

  10. 

    Ohmyy, your thoughts and words are such a beautiful combination together!
    I felt like I could read a lot of my thoughts in your words, but also you got me thinking and now I’ve read your post twice, so impactful!
    What a wonderful post ❤

  11. 

    Oh My God! (Pun Intended) This is powerful, mighty writing. Further words from me fail.
    Save this One: BRAVO!

  12. 

    Good to see you again, Samara. Oh what a year it’s been since COVID knocked on our world’s door. We are hanging in there here in Central New York, knock on wood.

    • 

      MARK!!!! Omg this feels like I’m seeing all my old friends here. It’s been ages.

      So glad you’re making out okay where you are. It would be awful if you were cooped up in the city.
      Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting, and reminding me that I have lots of friends in the writing community. xoxo

  13. 

    Glad to see you back, even if this post is beautifully heartbreaking.
    You deserve so much more than this.

    • 

      Hey Jenn! Thanks for stopping by and reading.
      I feel like I have so much in my life. Not to sound snarky (although I’m the Queen of Snark), but this was kind of a blip on the radar. I really enjoyed the relationship, and then it was over, and now I’m drinking the most delicious coffee and answering comments. Life is pretty good, all things considered. xoxo

  14. 

    Beautiful, evocative writing as ever. You have a talent for making your words quite…sensual. I’m sorry you’re having a tough time with love. A wise lady said to me recently that no one person can be all things to another. I’ve been percolating on that.

    • 

      That’s why I think I need THREE partners – I might have written about that, years ago. One for sex, one for money, and one for love. Sounds like something I would have written.

      Thanks for your compliments on my writing.
      I guess I’m having a tough time with romantic love, but love in general is quite abundant. People came here to comment that I’ve known for years! My kid is awesome, as always. My friends rock. Men are…confusing. I can only say that I was the best version of myself in this relationship that I’ve ever been. And it ended quite undramatically, which is nice as an ending.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It means a lot to me that you did. xoxo

      • 

        Three partners honestly makes total sense to me. And feeling that you were the best version of yourself is a wonderful thing. I guess I hope one day we can all get to the stage where we feel we’re the best versions of ourselves *by* ourselves and *for* ourselves. I think it happens incrementally, as we learn through other experiences.

        I’m glad LD is awesome. I’m guessing he’s BD now! Gosh. Huge love and hugs to both of you 💜💜💜

  15. 

    Sounds like his loss is your gain. Sure it hurts momentarily, but you’re better off. Hope you’re doing well, my friend.

    • 

      FUCK yeah, it’s his loss! Hahahaha

      TD, it is SO good to see you here, and on my last post. It means so much to me that writing friends I made years ago are still out there, doing their thing, and supporting me when I occasionally do mine.
      Hope life is going well for you as well, my friend. Crazy times, huh? xoxoxoxox

  16. 

    I often lurk around these parts to see what you’ve written mainly because we share some common ground on a number of topics, mainly sex and drugs and rock n’ roll (did i just quote Ian Dury?) and a penchant for dysfunctional relationships. I don’t often comment but this post was just too fucking good not to. It’s just a brilliant piece of writing start to finish and i dig what you say and how you say it… and really what else needs to be said? Great stuff.

    • 

      Aha! A lurker!

      Is there anything besides sex, drugs and rock and roll? Anything worth writing about?
      Thank you for the lovely compliments on my writing. I’m so glad you stopped by.
      RIP Ian Dury.
      xoxoxo

  17. 

    Missed you. Can’t write any more myself, much. I can barely read anything for the last 4+ years; why that is, I’ll never know, har har. Thank baby Jesus for pot and booze and music.
    By the way, your writing chops haven’t dulled one iota, Samara. So glad you’re here. I love you platonically but strongly. Walk with pride.

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