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Page 134

Identity's a slippery thing. My nephews (identical
twins) at age 6, were going out on a rainy day.
Their mom helped them into their raincoats. One said,
"What about our head?"

My wife and I, searching
the parking lot for our car, spot it. "There we are,"
I say, and, indeed, I can see us over there.

When a small part of my body is in her body, we speak of
ME being inside HER. When we both fill
the same space at once (our bodies rattling around
inside us, seeds in a gourd beating time to
tether us to this universe), I begin to wonder
if love (as in "I love you") is a transitive verb (you
receiving the effect I cause) or a linking verb,
like "am" (I am you). This would be clearer
in a language like Latin, where "you"- nominative
differs from "you"-objective.

Do I love ME? Or do I love I? Perhaps
love is a word that cancels itself out:
If "I love you" means that I become you (or rather,
that you and I both become something that is neither
you nor I), then "I love you" equals "I you" equals
a new "I". Love zeroes itself out.

That would account for its meaning in tennis.
While we're off being nothing at all
(nobody here but us no-bodies), our bodies
are making a racket, stroking and igniting each other
like matches. Nobody scores. We both win --
a tie that binds, but doesn't chafe.
Set for life.

Love all.

Note: Maybe someone "here" doesn't know that in tennis "love" means zero, no score, and "love all" means "nothing to nothing. Love means nothing – to nothing. When we love, we don't "score", since we're both on the same side. Maybe.

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