Accompanying Tweets to The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan: L

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

label, n.:  I know you think of me as The Quiet One or The Weaker One or The Overthinking One, but all I want is to be The One.

labor, n.:  I know you think the sentences come easily, but they don’t.  It takes strength to lift words and put them in the right place.

labyrinth, n.: We'll never get out of it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our time inside. A maze as big as the world is enough space.

lackadaisical, adj.:  You’re so charming as you put things off, but I can’t help but be put off by it nonetheless.

lackey, n.:  I will ask you to fetch something not because I’m lazy, but because I want to correct the laziness imbalance in our household.

lackluster, adj.:  All shines fade over time, but I don’t mind seeing the real surface beneath. There is a less illusory beauty there.

laconic, adj.:  Decaffeinated.

lacuna, n.:

ladder, n.:  I don’t need you at the top – I need you holding it steady.

lag, v.:  I spend so much time catching up with my own life that I need your help in catching up with yours.

lair, n.: First time I saw the mysterious, narrow door. "That's where I keep my old wives," you said. "They look a lot like coats."

lakeside, adj.: Being next to a body of water allows us to feel that we are bodies of water, allowed to expand into the moment, undammed.

lambast, v.: We say we’re only allowed to mean about mean people, but sometimes we forget, and need to stop.

lambent, adj.: The light of a single lamp, gathering around you as you make your way to bed, to me in the shadows.

lamebrained, adj.: If I have to ask “Do you love me?” I am never going to trust the answer I want to hear.

lament, v.: The sound that rises from the earth after a burial.

lamination, n.: Any attempt to preserve this feeling will leave it at a remove, unable to be seen as it once was to us.

lampoon, v.: Every time you make fun of old people, I picture you older. Every time you make fun of fat people, I picture you fatter.

land, v.: Even in the fog of our fear, I will make it home to you.

landline, n.: We are so old-fashioned, wanting to lay our wires in the ground instead of always trusting the air.

landlord, n.:  The man who times his dog-walking for whenever you happen to be stumbling home in an embarrassing manner.

landmark, n.:  When you’re lost, I will build as many lighthouses as it takes to lead you home.

landslide, n.: I hear the song in this word. And as time makes us older, is it possible to hear the song without thinking of you?

language, n.:  Love’s willing accomplice; we start with our names, and build from there.

languid, adj.:  When language turns liquid, and our vowels grow as long as our pauses.

languor, n.:  After the impassioned crux, after the crescendo, we lay there, and I swear, we have reduced ourselves to heartbeats.

lanky, adj.:  To buy skinny jeans without any self-consciousness.

lantern, n.:  I keep reminding myself to live with the flicker, because it’s an inevitable part of the light.

lanyard, n.:  Even in childhood, we mark the territory of our friendships.  If I could convince you to wear one now, I would.

lap, v.:  Yes, it means you’re ahead of me, but you’re still stuck on the same track.

lapidary, adj.:  I could feel you becoming engraved on my life, and as the years go by, the engravement grows deeper.

lapse, n.:  I looked away, and didn’t see you looking away.

laptop, n.:   The portable vessel of all my obligations.

larceny, n.:  We think that which is given cannot be stolen, but when your heart pulls away from mine, all I’ve given feels taken anyway.

large, adj.: Forget to the moon and back; I love you as much as everything in the sky that isn’t the moon.

largesse, n.:  Did you refrain from using that last bit of toilet paper so I would have some, or so I’d have to change the roll?

lark, n.:  We are the uncaged birds, singing for the song of it.

laryngitis, n.:  We learn firsthand that love does, in fact, need words to work smoothly. Or maybe our eye contact hasn’t gotten there yet.

lascivious, adj.: I love it when you find that spot, especially since that spot lives to jump around.

last, v./adj.:  I have to believe that what we have is not the end, but will make it to the end.

latch, v.: Loce is the clasp at the back on your neck that you cannot fasten yourself.

late, adj.:  I find myself wishing I’d met you earlier, before so many things about me solidified.

latecomer, n.:  I stand across the street, take an extra ten seconds to feel what it’s like to be the unseen, awaited one.

lately, adv.:  The imprecise, nagging sense that now is different from then, even though the border between the two can’t be pinpointed.

latent, adj.:  I didn’t know I would be able to be there for you, until there I was, for you. Love is not born as much as it is awakened.

later, adv.:  We will be stronger, we will recover, we will think clearer, we will understand more and worry about less.

lateral, adj.:  As we walk, I always turn to check that you’re beside me. You tell me to trust that you’ll keep step, that you are there.

lather, n.:  Accessorizing the rub-a-dub.

laughter, n.: I feel like I’ve done something right, to cause this momentary alleviation, this bright spot we share.

launch, v.:  We were never given a countdown, just ignition. But we didn’t burn all fuel in the ascent, so we can still lift to new heights.

laundry, n.:  Our clothes wrestle in the hamper over which will be liberated first.

laurel, n.: As you unpacked your stuff, I asked if the fifth-grade math prize was necessary; you said it gave you something to live up to.

lavish, v.:  I would leave a single pearl on your bedside table each and every morning, to keep in your pocket each and every day.

lawless, adj.: Stop stealing sugar packets from Starbucks. We now have enough to sandbag the entire kitchen drawer.

lawn, n.:  “I’d never take pride in it; it would only be a chore,” you tell me, and we agree we’ll never live outside the city.

layer, v.: I am not like this by desire, but by design. When we hit what lies underneath, I am often as surprised as you.

laze, v.:  The buttery posture of a springtime Saturday, uncommunicative bliss.

lazy, adj.:  “If you stay there any longer,” you say to me, “I’m going to have to start calling you a cushion.”

lead, v.: When I’m so lost in darkness that I can't see my own hands or even remember what hands are for, I need you to pick up the lantern.

leaden, adj.:  Why would you want to carry me when my thoughts weigh so much?

leaf, n.:  I find hope as much in their intricacy as in their arrival.  Messengers of our renewal, the springtime of our complexity.

leak, v.: I could tell you I want the explosive burst, but in truth I would stay in the slow deflation for much longer than I should.

lean, v.:  My center of gravity shifts; you are essential, momentarily, for my equilibrium.

leap, n.:  Sometimes, loving you, I have to focus on the ground ahead, and ignore the ground that’s not beneath my feet.

learnable, adj.:  You think, ‘I’ve never felt this way before.’ But you get used to it, and it becomes something else.

lease, v.:  It doesn’t need to be yearly, but every now and then, you and I need to renew.

leash, n.:  At the end of the workday, I want home to be the dog run.

leave, v.:  From here on in, all of my vanishings are temporary, all of my destinations will fall short of never and gone.

lecture, v.:  You are not an authority on any of your favorite topics, including yourself, but you proceed to talk as if you were.

ledger, n.: At first you count the dates, until you stop counting. Later, you stop and count the days, and are amazed at how many there are.

leeway, n.: You can't only make room for me in your life. You also have to make room for my mistakes.

leftover, adj.: The ghost of you remains in our apartment; I like to think of it as an extra part of your love, meant to keep me company.

legacy, n.: Even if the kindness ultimately dissolves rather than spreads, I will be glad we lived within it.

legal, adj.:  It will not mean that you belong to me or that I belong to you, only that we belong together.

legendary, adj.:  The way you sing along to Whitney, it’s like you’ve forgotten you’re you, and it’s her own desire breaking through.

legible, adj.:  To know your hand as I know your voice; to recognize what you leave behind as well as what you say.

legitimize, v.:  I rely upon every “I love you” to let me know my feet are not off the ground.

legroom, n.:  We are both willing to take the middle seat even if neither of us particularly wants it.

legwork, n.:  It takes miles of conversation for the wandering to feel like it has a direction, for us to realize we are companions.

leisure, n.:  Let’s wrap some books, some cheese, and some wine in a beach towel, and escape our lives for a few hours or days.

leitmotif, n.: The frustration of the unknowable. The prevalence of words not said, feelings not expressed. The confusion of our navigation.

lemonade, n.:  In this scenario, I think it’s safe to say that we’re the lemons.

lend, v.:  After a few months, we made it to the stage where I had to tell you which things I actually needed back.

lengthen, v.: How much time do I spend wanting more time? The only way to get more time is to get free of these thoughts.

lenient, adj.:  Treating a trespass as a stumble off course, not a new path.

lens, n.: I look for excuses to capture you, to take a moment from you that I can keep for much longer than memory would last.

leonine, adj.:  To be known more for attack than repose.

leper, n.:  When I feel harmful because of who I am, you will not let me isolate myself.

less, det.:  It’s okay to cut back on the sugar, but not to the point that all sweetness disappears.

lesser, adj.:  The only way to solve the perpetual competition is to understand there will be a near balance of categories we each win.

lesson, n.:  All Mona manages to teach us is how bad we are at knitting. You say as long as mittens are $5 at H&M, we’ll be fine.

let, v.:  To rent out your permission, hopefully at no cost.

letdown, n.:  That moment you realize that love hasn’t cured anything – it’s only eased some of the side effects.

lethargic, adj.:  Yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it requires so much effort to get to it.

letter, n.:  I would love to read your life story in installments, as it happens. I’d even wait a few days for it to be delivered.

level, v./n.: In our relationship, there’s no way to smooth the terrain; instead we need to build our own layers upon it.

levelheaded, adj.: We fall into the pattern of swing and ballast; you see me about to launch and try to push into the reservoir of calm.

leverage, n.:  You hold so much more power for keeping my secrets. The minute you threaten to use them, you’ll disintegrate. 

leviathan, n.: I tell you I had a whale-shaped birthday cake when I was nine and you spend hours trying to replicate it, decades later.

levitate, v.: The best that love can offer is that feeling of floating, but your feet don’t have to leave the ground.

levity, n.: I love you with the intensity of seriousness when you bring the opposite of seriousness into my closed room.

lewd, adj.: The tongue is the epicenter of all lewdness, in word, gesture, or action. You use yours well.

lexicography, n.: We work so hard to find our definitions.

lexicon, n.: “It’s an actual con,” you say. “You dress as your favorite word, and hit up collectors for words that’ve fallen out of use.”

leyline, n.: Wherever we are, no matter how we swerve, there is always a straight line between us. 

liability, n.: It is not your ability to lie, more your compulsive desire to do so, that has the potention to doom us.

liaison, n.: There are times I want you to love me as if you don’t already know who I am.

liar, n.: After all this time, you cannot look at me and say you feel nothing.

libation, n.: A substance designed to free the tongue and vacate the mind.

libelous, adj.: After all this time, you cannot look at me and say I feel nothing.

liberal, adj.: "The way I see it," you said on date two, "sometimes you have to vote for something better than your best interests."

liberty, n.: I do not need to set you free. You have always been free. There is no room in our love for cages of any kind.

library, n.: We improvise our memoirs as we walk the aisles, pulling out books we've read and telling the stories that go beside them. 

license, n.: The one I grant you is largely poetic, capable of accepting the improbable in the course of the hoped for.

licentious, adj.: You say you’re a trainwreck, but I think you know exactly where the rails are laid.

lick, v.: Indeed, somehow it seems that this is what common sense does to us – we’re very aware of it for a moment, then it evaporates.

lie, v.: The little ones don’t bother me so much, except for my fear that bigger ones lurk behind them, laughing at my ignorance.

lifeboat, n.: In those moments or days when all I need to do is survive to the next, we jettison the rest and focus on staying above water.

lifelike, adj.: Days when we go through the motions so much that the motions feel fake; we're bad actors who aren't supposed to be acting.

lifetime, n.: The longest amount of time any love can possibly promise.

liftoff, n.: Hold my hand for sudden accelerations, if you see I'm about to take flight.

ligature, n.: This cord was woven from our happiest days, and must be used to stitch us better when we do unseamly things to one another.

light, n.: I am grateful to you for staying awake a little longer so I can read a little longer. 

lightbulb, n.: One to screw it in, and one to wonder why it's the lightbulb that gets to be screwed.

lighten, v.: It’s not just the burdens. It’s all the other things you help me lift, so they won’t teeter over and become burdens.

lightheaded, adj.: When I am too tired to know my own name, you give it back to me gently.

lighthearted, adj.:  When we laugh at the same time, at the same thing, and I don’t need anything more from the moment than that.

lightning, n.: There is no sense in chasing after the things that only last for a few seconds. Better, you say, to enjoy the full storm.

lightsome, adj.: I watch you dance through the crowd in a crowded bar, conversational choreography, while I sit and oak.

ligneous, adj.:  Whenever you seem too sturdy, I start to suspect your heart is made of wood.

likable, adj.:  It’s much better to be liked.

liker, n.: The reason we say lover: While you must like the one you make a life with, you can't make a life with someone you merely like.

likelihood, n.:  No love has ever started as a probability; it can only become one over time.

likeminded, adj.:  It doesn’t matter if we both like peanut butter or Fallon, only that we both want to do good in this world.

lilt, v.:  We rise and we fall, but it’s all a part of the music, all a part of the words being said.

limber, adj.: The ability to get out of bed without waking the other person up.

limbo, n.: When I have no idea what you want, and you give no indication of considering what I want.

lime-green, adj.: The preferred color of couches, we agree.

limen, n.: I know that my preoccupations can be a full-time job, leaving me little time to notice the things that go effortlessly well.

limit, n.: Love is the knowledge that there is an end to everything, coupled with the choice to disregard it.

limpid, adj.: When the storm clouds clear from my head, I want to open my eyes and see what you look like.

linchpin, n.: I need you to be one of the certainties that holds me together.

line, n.: Our connection will never be the shortest distance between points. It twists and digresses, but as long as it connects we’re okay.

lineage, n.: The weight of responsibilities you didn't in any way create.

linger, v.: After we’ve outlasted the last guests, we contentedly compare our notes and bring the orphaned glasses home to the kitchen.

lingo, n.: The idiosyncratic vocabulary your lover has picked up over years, which you find to be the bee's knees, or the cat's pajamas.

link, n.: Click on too many and you end up part of the chain.

lionize, v.: In any relationship, excessive admiration can be a beast that bites.

lip, n.: I trace yours with my fingertips, as if I can feel the topography of all the words kept inside.

lipogrammatic, adj.: I’m an alphabet with you, but I’ll use some letters much more often, to the point you may forget I have a q or a z.

lissome, adj.: The lies to watch out for are the slender ones, that seem so attractive until they start to eat away.

list, v.: Trying to account for all of my failings will only set you on the wrong course, leaning too heavily on your fears.

listen, v.: To appreciate the sanctity of that which is spoken, and to undertake the translation of words to thought.

listless, adj.: The inner and outer emptiness connect; your world is asleep and your mind is not.

literally, adj.: Literally, the most redundant word you use on a daily basis, which figuratively drives me out of my mind.

literary, adj.: I prefer to be bookish, because that feels like a less exclusive club.

literate, adj.: It takes a child four or five years to get the hang of words, and it will take me just as long to learn how to read you.

lithosphere, n.: Your anger solidifies you into crags and caves, and I, who am always looking for softness, turn away.

litigious, adj.: I want such a thing as a lovesuit, where a court can redress the questions not answered, the clothes left on the floor.

litter, n.: You spell yourself out over the apartment in unread mail and pocket change, coffee cups and discarded receipts.

little, adj.: When you talk down to me, I shrink.

littoral, adj.: We gaze at the water, unsure but satisfied. It is pointless to try to count the waves. Quietly, we widen.

livable, adj.: When pain dulls to hurt; when ecstasy calms to appreciation; when we can see everything that exists outside disappointment.

live, v.: To want to be here, even when you don’t want to be here.

livelihood, n.: The trick is to find that job that actually brings you liveliness. 

loan, v.: What's mine will be yours, and what was once borrowed will now be kept in common.

loathe, v.: When a thing offends not just your view of the situation but your view of the universe.

lobby, n.:  I see you, sentry of my sentiments, unguarded as the guard tells you I’ll be right down, not knowing I’m already there.

local, adj.: We each worked hard to have the barista remember our daily order; you won, because you aren’t afraid to introduce yourself.

locate, v.:  I call and text and keep sending out my sonar to no great effect, because clearly I am out of my depth.

lock, n./v.:  It's never as simple as a key with me. You have to know the combination.

locomotion, n.: Cruel as it may seem, I love the way you hug-hop-hover to keep warm as I look for my keys.

lodestar, n.: I often need to measure my own coordinates against something so distant from me that it's only meaning can be what I give it.

lodging, n.: Your complaint is the unwanted houseguest of our evening; every time I start to relax, I hear it break a lamp in the next room.

lofty, adj.: I don't need a private jet or even to take cabs; I'd just like, for fun, to rent out a ballroom and invite all our friends.

logarithm, n.: I would love there to be a predictability to our ups and downs, but there is no convenience in our math.

logic, n.: I find no consolation in the way things are supposed to go.

logistics, n.: Understand it this way -- on a basic level, I just want to get there on time. That's all.

logorrhea, n.: Love is hardly an articulate beast; in the heat of the moment, it tends to sweat torrents of words.

loiter, v.: I grant you easy trespass; never grow self-conscious when you linger for me.

loll, v.: The only reason we're still awake is we've forgotten how to go to sleep.

lollygag, v.: It's not as much a waste of time when I'm wasting it with you.

loneliness, n.: Not the feeling of being in an empty room, but the feeling of being locked in an empty room.

loner, n.: I worry that I will never find anyone else’s company as compelling as my own.

longevity, n.: “The secret,” my grandfather told me, “is to never fight.” Which I took as a form of useful denial.

longing, n.:  To be sure that the thing that will make you better is the thing you don’t yet have.

look, v./n.:  Moments when I don’t have to say “I’m over here,” because I can tell you already know, without having to turn.

loop, n.:  I don’t mind having the same conversation over and over again if I feel we’re getting a little tighter each time.

loophole, n.:  I felt I could do better and maybe wouldn’t find better, then you snuck in before I closed the contemplation.

loopy, adj.:  What do you mean, not every pair can amuse themselves for hours on end by speaking in exaggerated thespian accents?

loose, adj.:  In bed we don’t need to cling or cluster, but instead unfold, appreciating the overlap, but also the space.

lopsided, adj.:  It’s only when we kiss that I remember who’s taller, or who wants the kiss more.

lord, v.: Neither of us wears divinity well, so it’s better we knock ourselves off our self-made alters before opening our mouths to speak.

lore, n.: The further the family stories get from our generation, the more they feel like personal mythologies, with time as the only god.

lose, v.: My hair. My vanity. My favorite sweater. My apartment. My books. Every day, there are more things I’d rather lose than lose you.

loser, n.:  Every time I speak the truth without knowing how to articulate it, I feel I haven’t lived up to the moment I wanted to create.

lost, adj.: Some days I wake up to wilderness; I need you to sing me to the edge of the forest, since I cannot trust my eyes.

lot, n.: I am jealous of your ability to look at the emptiness and imagine it as a place to build a home.

lottery, n.: I never wanted to be someone who felt the more tickets I bought, the more likely I’d be to win, especially with love.

loud, adj.: We rarely scream, but when we do, it's fear that fuels the volume, whiplash twist of love.

lounge, v.:  Changing the tempo and find the music that lies outside the dancing. Kick up your heels and laze next to me.

lousy, adj.: I wish I could fix all the things I break.

lovable, adj.: I don’t know if you can be loved if you don’t first allow yourself to be loved, which can be a hard step for some of us.

lovely, adj.: Take the deepest shine of your affections and turn it into an adjective. Then note when it reflects back at you.

lovesick, adj.: Feverish ache; chilblain despond; the cough that won’t release itself; irregular heartbeat; hardness of breath.

low, adj.: I will crawl.

loyalty, n.:  I remain as devoted to your mistakes as I am to your victories, because I know you and I know what you mean to do.

lucent, adj.:  My love for you is both a particle and a motion, more powerful in its effect than in its being.

lucidity, n..: The intense wakefulness that comes from stripping away the clutter and calmly considering the core.

lucky, adj.: Be grateful for all the things that have nothing to do with you when they end up having everything to do with you.

ludology, n.:  Every lover has an idiosyncratic set of moves. The moves dictate the game so much more than the rules do.

lug, v.: All your books up all the stairs; if this isn’t a loving act, I don’t know what is.

lugubrious, adj.: I can hear the Eeyore infusing my tones, and no matter how much you Tigger, I can’t quite find my dancing feet.

lukewarm, adj.: I fear the tepid more than the scald, because I know I am so much less likely to jump away from a bland form of drowning.

lull, v.:  You stroke my hair, give my breathing a new pace, and I can feel the wild horses in my head begin to calm.

lullaby, n.:  We sing the gentlest moments of our childhood to each other, with no intention of ever putting them to rest.

luminary, n.:  You saw a rich and famous guy at a party and wanted to go up and ask point blank, “What’s it like to be so rich and famous?”

luminescence, adj.: when the shimmer on the water isn't a trick of the light but is something living, intrinsic.

lunacy, n.: We keep throwing rocks in the water and thinking we can make a tide.

lunch, n.: In the war between leaving the apartment on a Sunday and falling into the arms of PB & J, the sandwich always wins.

lunge, v.:  Love circles many times before it finds the drain; still, you should grab it as soon as you see it sliding.

lurch, v.: There is nothing graceful about my reaction to your pull on me; it is a tumble, it is a leap, it is genuine.

lure, n.: One of the things that attracted me most was the open, well-worn affection with which you talked about your best friends.

lurk, v.: The resentment stays two steps behind you, but when you turn to face it, it ducks away.

lush, n.: When alcohol is the couch you can't get off of.

lust, n.: The perpetual wanting of you slips from the mind to the rest of the body, and the yearning falls out of my control.

luxuriate, v.:  To allow your time to be less than filled in order to feel the fullness of a pause.

lyric, n.: Because I want my music to say something, and maybe teach me how to say things better.

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