Jules experienced love the same way everybody else did. At least, that was what he told himself, not knowing if or how everyone experienced love. He threw his body and soul into every relationship, every encounter, and sometimes things got mixed together. These things could be bodies, features, fears, wants, abilities, disabilities, values, anything. When Jules was in love, he didn’t notice these things, but after he and his lover parted ways, there would always be something left behind. It started with a boy in high school. He was cool and emotionally unavailable. He loved Jules, but he also loved art. He never fully answered questions, hinting that he had a wealth of secret knowledge he was hoarding. He was the best at everything, even if everything was making a fool of himself for his art. He never made a first move, but when Jules asked the boy to hurt him, he never said no. Even though Jules begged for him to stay, they eventually parted ways, leaving him with a profound love of art, and a sharp hatred of himself. Next, there was a girl in college. They weren’t much good together. He tried to help her solve her problems when she just wanted someone to understand her pain. He tried to hold her close when she needed space and left her space when she most needed to be close. When one was lost, they were both lost. When one was clearheaded, they couldn’t pull the other out of the fog. He made her food that sat uneaten under her bed. He lent her things that would mysteriously vanish, never to be returned. He cleaned the floor of her room several times, but within a week it was always covered in the detritus of her depression. She left him a knack for cleaning and a small freckle on the palm of his hand, identical to hers. He stayed single for a while, and went on dinner dates, which usually turned out poorly. Over the course of the summer he collected a tolerance for spicy food, a love of instant noodles, and an allergy to tree nuts.