COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY ON TWO SHORT STORIES:
WHEN LOVE BECOMES POISON
When does love becomes poison? Yes. You read it right. Love indeed turns into poison. The thing that gives each of us the reason to breathe can turn into the same thing that will choke us to death. The dream that each human wants to have when they fall asleep can turn into a nightmare that may cause them not to wake up anymore. Love is inevitable. It is everywhere and anywhere to be found. All of us experience it no matter how hard we detach ourselves from. We may tell everyone that we cannot feel love but we cannot deny it to ourselves once we feel it. We may conceive and hide yet we cannot fool ourselves. But we must be aware that once there is a strong emotion inside us that we were not able to control, pain and sorrow will eventually exist instead of happiness. Once we let ourselves get consumed by our feelings and emotions, our brains will stop functioning how it was supposed to and it might lead us into unwanted circumstances. Love has the power to fill your appetite like its power to starve you to death. Each of us has an appetite for love. And just like our stomachs, whenever we are deprived of food, we hunger and sometimes we even starve. Normally, a person would do everything just to save herself from death. She will take no matter how hard it is just for her to survive. Well, if I were to be asked, I would also do everything that I am capable just to stay alive.
Clemencia was deprived of the care and love of her parents since her father died when she was still young and her mother lived as if she died with her husband. Unlike her sister, she was not able to detach herself from her father’s death. Her hunger for love and attention drove her into the caring arms of a married man, Drew. The same thing that happened to Nilda. She never liked to stay in her mother’s place so she grew up in another place and until she now, she never liked staying in her mother’s apartment so she sleeps at Rafa’s. She felt total security whenever she’s with Rafa since her mother wasn’t able to provide her. Both of them went through different struggles just to continue being loved by their men. They do not care anymore if they are just used as long as their hunger is being satisfied. And though both of them made love with others, their love for their men did not change.
However, they differ in the management of their affairs. Clemencia took Drew’s son and treated him so well. She even made love to the boy. She did everything and was willing to do more just for him to like her. For him to love her and need her the way she loved and needed his father. She was already very consumed of her love, or rather obsession, for Drew that she wants to control the boy’s life and make it dependent on her. But Nilda was different. When Rafa died of cancer, she did not wreck other’s life. Instead she continued doing everything she can in order to survive. Her memories of how she imagined his goodness to her became sweet part of her past that she always reminisce whenever she remembers him. Love is very powerful and once you were not able to contain it, it will explode. It might cause you wounds and pain but worst of all, it may kill you. While Nilda was able to let go of Rafa and continue to live and survive her life everyday, Clemencia was not able to control her love and passion for Drew that she satisfied her hunger for him with his son.
My ex-lover would always tell me that making love is an expression of an uncontrollable and very strong emotions. But we must not forget that to make love without the presence of love is all but a sinful lust. He would always tell me that sex is never satisfying enough if it is done out of lust, out of the heat and urgency that our body tells our mind. With the way that these two ladies had their affairs, I couldn’t exactly say who had more lustful experiences than love. Clemencia would make love to men who have wives because it gives her such an unexplainable feeling of somehow joy and happiness that she was able to secretly punish these women. Just like when they were giving birth to their children while their husbands were making love with her. It was such a success for her to be able to hinder these men from staying beside their wives. Nilda, on the other hand, had numerous relationships whom she all made love with. She made love with older men, with guys of her generation, with boys of different jobs. Both did it for love but at times they did it for their momentarily satisfaction. She never cared about their personality, character, background, wealth, family,and other factors that most women these days sought from their lovers.
Every story has its ending and not every good beginnings ends happily. Life is never a fairytale. We are not princesses who have fairy Godmothers to rescue them whenever they have problems. We are not princesses waiting for her prince charming to rescue her from her wicked stepmother. We live in a world full of misery that each of must face everyday to survive. Everything on earth must be consumed according to its right amount. Anything that is neither less nor more is poisonous and even detrimental. And love is of no exception to this rule. Love has the power to give life but we must always bear in our minds that it has the same power to kill. Sometimes, it’s power to kill is even more powerful than its power to give life. Sometimes it takes out life without even knowing it. Its like a thief that comes secretly through the back door. You’ll only notice once its gone and off with your precious belongings.
We must learn to accept the fact that we can’t have everything in our hands. I still remember when mommy would buy me a toy. She’d always show me all the good stuff in the store and let me pick only one. It’s so hard to choose which one keep and which one to let go. But at the end of the day I find myself at home playing with the toy i chose. Sometimes I’m so happy with it that I take it with me to bed. But there were also times that I still have in mind the other one that I left at the store. But there’s nothing I can do anymore. All I can say to myself is that I must be contented for what I have beside me no matter how bad I want the other one. Now that I’m already older, I just laugh at myself whenever I remember those days. How could I have had a dilemma between toys when other kids my age were already hunting for food, for a place to stay, for something that will keep them warm through the cold breeze during the night. Many children already experienced this at an early age, probably now they are already working and earning money to feed themselves. But what’s worse than earning for ones self is if they had to work to provide for their family.
I realized that in order for us to take hold of something better, we must let go of what we have in our palms. But it does not mean that if we let go of other things, we will have the one that we are dying for. I let go of him for I know that he will never be mine. I took the liberty of experiencing pain and agony of not having him beside me during the cold nights. All these and more I did because I love him. You must think I’m crazy. Well I guess love indeed makes the head swirl and the brain numb. Call me crazy if you want, but one thin I’m sure of, I’ll never be happy knowing that he will never be mine forever no matter how much i let o of myself. No matter how right and true the feelings were, as long as it’s not the right time, then the whole relationship is not right. But letting him go didn’t changed what i feel. I loved him. I still love him. And I’ll always love him even more when were apart. I may no longer do the same things as before, but my feelings will just grow even stronger.
To let go and sacrifice is the greatest form of love. Because no matter how hard we love a person and no matter how far we are willing to go sometimes it is still not enough reason to keep him in our arms. No matter how much we had given could not compensate the fact that we cannot have that person. We must learn to accept that not every sacrifice that we do gives us the reward that we want. We must be contented for what we have, for how we feel. We must settle for things that we have and things within our reach. Wanting something is different from getting obsessed with. Because the moment that we crave for more is the moment that we turn into monsters and beasts who hunger or even starve and feed into everything that could satisfy us even for just a blink of the eye. And this is when love turns into bittersweet poison.
Cisneros, S. (1954). Never Marry a Mexican. pages 109-119.
Diaz, J. (1968). Nilda. pages 144-151.