I’ve been thinking a lot about chemistry lately.
No, not the kind of chemistry where you memorize periodic tables or need a Bunsen burner to conduct experiments. The kind of chemistry that you find periodically with other people.
The thing about chemistry is, in my experience, you don’t find it, it finds you. It seems, too, that the appropriateness of the relationship has little to do with the level of chemistry.
I’ve also noticed that it often doesn’t seem like it would make sense when you’re looking on from the outside.
Chemistry is like a spark in a tinder box. It’s like suddenly cresting a hill and seeing the vista appear before you, so sharp and striking that it takes your breath away. Losing your breath is a good thing, at times.
I’ve always believed that life is about experiences.
The more experiences, the more breadth of places and things and people to which we expose ourselves, the richer our lives are. I’ve always liked travel for that reason.
I’ve been to 38 of the 48 continental U.S. states, for instance, and most I’ve done more than touch down in inside an airplane.
I’ve been in Canada and Mexico, and, oddly, Australia. I’ve lived in four different states in three very different parts of the country.
I’ve lived in very small towns and largish cities.
I’ve had straight relationships and gay relationships. I’ve actually had far more kinky relationships than I have had vanilla, which is probably unusual.
So I think that chemistry is important for that experience, if nothing else. The quality of experience is deepened, I
think, by the kind of intensity chemistry provides.
I’ve been lucky.
I’ve probably made poorer choices than I might have when I let chemistry have the deciding vote, but in the end, I believe I would always choose the intensity of experience over the safety of correct choices.
Chemistry isn’t something you can find the way you do a new pair of shoes.
It’s something that, in my experience, suddenly appears. You touch someone’s skin, and there’s an undeniable spark. It’s almost like static electricity.
You don’t know it’s there until you feel that jolt.
I don’t think real chemistry can be a one-way street, either, I think chemistry has to run both ways for it to really
BE chemistry. Both of you feel that jolt.
Physical attraction is certainly part of it, but I don’t think that’s all of it.
I’ve had people whom I found very attractive and who apparently also found me attractive, but that spark wasn’t there. Maybe it’s pheromones, maybe it’s something more or less, maybe it’s all our imagination.
I do know that it’s worth it, and, oddly, for another reason I had occasion to look up this quote, which seems an appropriate place to leave this thought, at least for now. It’s by Jack Kerouac.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous
of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn,
like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue
centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”