In my early 20s, I was in a spoken-word band. I performed a piece about a pirate trying to steal my penis, and another about defecating out a racing horse on a first date. That kind of thing.
My best friend Howard was the drummer, and just before our first actual show, standing there on stage about to start, I turned to him and said, off mic, “I love you, man” to which Howard replied, “What’re you, Prince?”
That cured me of the spontaneous I-love-you’s for a good many years, but it’s something I miss and would like to re-instate because, as awkward as it can be to say such a thing, having someone die and never getting to say it at all is worse.
I need to start slipping them in somehow, like insurance. At the end of phone conversations might be a safe bet.
“I love you.”
But it’ll be too late. I’ll have already hung up, and they won’t be able to do a thing about it.