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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

gadabout, n.:  At what point do you start to feel you’re living from drink to drink?  You’re not there yet, but you may slip there soon.

gain, v.:  Understanding of yourself and understanding of the world come hand in hand with understanding the person you love.

gait, n.:  You stride like you know what you’re doing, but I can see the waver when you come to an intersection you don’t yet feel is yours.

galaxy, n.:  As many words as stars, as many thoughts as spaces between.

gall, n.: Nobody has the right to tell another person who to love.  True love is never a dictate or an obligation.

gallant, adj.:  You make me want to open doors for you.

gallery, n.:  Only when you link them together can you see how images capture time, and how time captures us.

gallivant, v.:  Let’s skip over the need for sleep and let the bubbles hang in the air a little longer.

galore, adj.:  We should all want a love galore, an ever-abundant variety pack spilling out of its boxes.

galumph, v.:  Without coffee, I return to Neanderthal form, and you stand aside as I push through the kitchen and grunt.


galvanize, v.:  My will is powered in part by you.  Even if I don’t want to do it, I will do it if I see you want me to.

gambit, n.:  There were nights I pretended my roommates were around, just so we could go to your place instead.

gamble, v.:  The minute you choose to gamble with trust, the odds turn against you.

gambol, v.:  You stride toward me like it’s the first day of spring, which I know means there’s something good you want to tell me.

game, n.:  Along the way you piece together some of the rules, but you never get to see the full board.

gamer, n.:  I’m not jealous or anything, but I will point out that Grand Theft Auto will never love you back.

gamut, n.: You don’t have to run; it sometimes cycles past you in a single string of thoughts. You stand still, wondering where you’ll land.

gape, v.:  Sometimes being too open can cause someone else to be too open in a different way.

garbled, adj.:  The words tumble and twist around one another as they come out of my mouth;  I need you to unwind them, to know I mean well.

garden, n.:  We will survive under the frost.

gargle, v.:  I love your ritualistic peculiarities.

garish, adj.:  The times we have highlights are usually our lowpoints.

garland, n.:  I’d rather have this than a halo.

garrulous, adj.:  The more you drink, the more expert you become on everything besides gauging my reactions.

gaslight, v.: Some nights I wonder if this is all a trick, that one day I'll open the door and find you laughing at footage of my stupidity.

gasp, v.:  The body speaks before the mind kicks in.

gatecrash, v.:  Love crafts its invitations, but the savvy suitor knows how to get inside without one, the unexpectedly welcome guest.

gatekeeper, n.:  You are the only one who holds the key to yourself.

gather, v.:  The comfort and consolation of bringing your friends close

gauge, v.:  I wear my fear on my cuticles, my joy in the corners of my mouth.

gawk, v.:  I try to avoid the MTV meltdowns, because reveling in others’ misfortune draws me away from my own empathy.

gay, adj.:  Synonym for happy.

gaze, v.:  It’s as if your eyes have become a source of light.  The rest of the room has fallen dark.

gazillion, n.:  When considering love, it is important to realize that something can be imponderable and yet still exist.

gear, n.:  Me: “I don’t want to date someone who buys hiking boots and then never leaves the city.” You: “What are hiking boots?”

geek, n.:  You used to hide your oddities under your bed, but now you wear them with pride.

genealogy, n.:  I want to be so happy at my wedding that even the most reluctant ancestors would dance for us, wherever they may be.

generalization, n.:  A too-easy way to see a much more complicated world.

generate, v:  The welcome of your warmth on a chilly night.

generation, n.:  Our love is shaped by our time.

generic, adj.:  Don’t say to me all the things that other people say.  I want words that are crafted, not manufactured.

generosity, n.: The mingling of patience and kindness and sacrifice, doing unto others better than you would do for yourself.

genesis, n.: There's no single moment I can say was the first time I loved you. It was a gathering of moments that added up to become love.

genius, n.:  Be smart enough to know that you can't be smart about everything.

genre, n.:  I often want my life to be a romantic comedy, which is quite romantic of me, and often leads to comedy.

gentle, adj.:  Sometimes I need you to be a reassuring whisper.

gentleman, n.:  Possessing a manhood that’s carved by consideration, not a desire for control.

gentrify, v.:  You cannot remodel me into a hipper version of myself.  I am, at heart, an old neighborhood.

genuine, adj.: When you expose the flaws in your own words, because you know they are the best approximation you can give.

geography, n.: Ultimately the lines drawn upon us aren't as important as the ones that naturally occur. We are the world as seen from above.

geology, n.: The upper layer is skin, but the deepest is rock.  Sometimes you make it feel like a boulder, sometimes a gem.

geomancy, n.:  The first time I saw the inside of your apartment, I tried to read it for signs of our future.

geomorphic, adj.:  I love the crags of you, the isthmuses of you, the promontories, the slopes, the subtle striations.

geophagy, n.:  Love can make you feel like you are eating earth, and it can also make it so that you can somehow survive on dirt.

germane, adj.:  What you say when I’m not around matters just as much.

germinate, v.:  You were not the seed or the soil.  You were the rain.

gerrymander, v.:  Positioning pillows so that half the bed really becomes a third.

gerund, n.:  If we wanted to be most true to its meaning, we would not call it love, but loving.

gesticulate, v.:  When you argue, your hand karate-chops the air in front of you, as if it wants to show that it's on your side.

gesture, n.:  You offer me the last piece of everything, including yourself.

getaway, n.:  The farther we get from the city, the less the city gets to us.

geyser, n.: Your explosions come in such a predictable pattern that I imagine I could sell tickets, if I thought anyone would want to watch.

ghastly, adj.:  You say you’re dressing up as the person you could've ended up being, because that’s the scariest costume you can think of.

ghost, n.:  What you see when memory takes a shape.

ghostwritten, adj.:  Sometimes I feel like I am a hollow vessel for someone else’s words; their passage fails to ground me.

gibberish, n.:  Half penguin cold awake, mother half mother! deadline ostrich truth, talking strawberry in your inkjet sleep.

gibbous, adj.:  You don’t see all of me, but you see more of me than you don’t.

giddy, adj.: Our heartbeats accelerate, and our lives are accelerating too, out of the shallows and up to the helium heights of joy.

gift, n.: All I want is your time and attention.  No need to wrap it.

gigantic, adj.: "When I was little," you confess, "my one aspiration was to make the biggest rubber-band ball in the world."

giggle, n.:  The laugh that escapes like a child running from a classroom.

gild, v.:  The sunrise filters onto you through the blinds, and I momentarily lose my breath.

gimcrack, adj.:  Our love looks strong enough to bear the weight of our foibles, but what if that’s merely a veneer?

gimmick, n.: Bombarded by advice on how to keep the spark, we must remember that love is not advertising, just as advertising is never love.

gird, n.: Wear too much armor and you won’t be able to move at all.

girly, adj.:  I refuse to think of this as an insult or a diminishment, because most of the girls I know are awesome.

gist, n.:  It’s complicated, but I love you.

give, v.:  Not the opposite of take, but it’s complement.

glacial, adj.:  You think it moves slowly, but look how fast the ice falls when the glacier breaks.

glad, adj.:  Thankful on your behalf.

gladiator, n.:  I need you to help me fight off the lions of doubt.

glamorous, adj.: We’re suckers for cigarette smoke in an old movie, from the lips of a dame know knows too much, but should know better.

glance, v.:  It is more than just seeing.  It is seeing with intent, a connection looking to find its other end.

glare, v.:  The alarm has gone off inside of me and I am trying to get it inside of you too.

glass, n.:  Every time you see through me, it renders me more breakable, so take care with how hard you press your palm.

gleam, v.: Let us shine from the corner of the eye, the unblinding glimmer, dazzling companion.

glean, v.:  I live among the sidenotes of your history, but only read them when I feel I have to.

gleeful, adj.:  The right song comes on the radio and we play it even louder than our memory of it, so we can be within it again.

glib, adj.:  The dismissive twist in your tone, amplified by my complex inferiority.

glide, v.:  Let’s take a holiday from being concerned, and instead be weightless in each other’s company.

glimpse, v.:  There is nothing so tender as looking at you and seeing the person I am going to be loving forty years from now.

glitch, n.:  What you’ve just said has stood itself between my synapses; I do not understand why I am unable to understand.

glitter, v.:  I love it when you shine, if only for an instant.

gloat, v.:  When one lover, despite knowing better, can’t resist the opportunity to prove the other lover in some way diminished.

glom, v.:  In a crowded party, I tag on to you like a Sherpa, even if the only thing I carry is your ever-heavier resentment.

gloomy, adj.:  We all have to be the Eeyore at some point.

glorious, adj.:  My happiness is usually a steady hum, but there are moments with you that require trumpets.

glossarist, n.: The topic at hand is love, and thus the words are plentiful, if hard to collect, since the emotions swirl them so.

glossolalia, n.:  We each speak our own language, largely recognizable but every now and then plunged into a deeply personal obscurity.

glow, v.:  In a person, a visible manifestation of love or the anticipation of love.

glower, v.:  When your expression turns into a gloomy flower, wilting from disdain.

glue, n.:  I want you to stick with me without thinking you’re stuck with me.

glum, adj.:  The mood after we not-quite argue, leaving me not-quite sure and not-quite right.

glut, n.:  I can only take so many emotions at once.

glutton, n.:  Actually, you compulsively avoid punishment, devouring the near-misses and digesting them as innocence.

glyphic, adj.: Sometimes words create the picture.  But other times the words themselves are the only picture you need to understand.

go, v.:  This word wastes no time making up its mind.

goad, v.:  I provoke you in the mistaken, temporary belief that I have to knock down your mistaken, temporary wall of silence.

goal, n.: One of the posts is individuality and the other is togetherness; the aim is to get it right in between, past the keeper of doubts.

goatee, n.:  I would never do this to you.  We both can live without a patch of goatishness.

gobble, v.:  When I behave like a turkey, I often want to eat my words.

godsend, n.:  Ultimately, it doesn't matter to me how you got here.  It’s that you’re here.

gold, n.:  Of course it can stay.  It will last a long time beyond us.  It’s not just a matter of the light. It’s a matter of metal.

golden, adj.:  The subtle thread sewn through life, the vein of wonder that is always there but only sometimes visible.

gone, adj.:  The irrevocable death of presence and sound; the inevitable birth of absence and echo.

goner, n.: I never want to be so far gone that I don't realize you're almost gone.

gongoozler, n.:  This is what you become if you don’t take charge of your own life.

good, adj.: You should choose this so much that it no longer feels like a choice.

goodnight, n.:  I want the last words I hear to be yours.

goof, n.: Not all screw-ups are harmful.  Some need to embraced by humor, until they dissolve in its lightest of grips.

goofball, n.:  Tends to bounce rather than roll.

gorge, n./v.:  Feed so much on the drama inherent in misery and you will soon find you’ve created a chasm between yourself and reality.

gorgeous, adj.:  A luscious kind of beauty, jazz-dazzling in its magnetism.

gormless, adj.:  When you leave your phone at home and realize you’ve forgotten how to live life unaided.

gospel, n.:  The song I can sing with the most conviction is my love for you, and my love for this imperfect world.

gossamer, adj.:  Even the most slender of connections can be beautiful if seen in the right light.

gossip, n.:  Communal hearsay; an attempt to take your story away from you; not to be heeded.

goth, adj.:  You do not wear black on the outside because you’re black on the inside, and thus will never qualify for this adjective.

gourmand, n.:  You can discourse for at least forty minutes on the pros and cons of various cupcake establishments in the city.

grab, v.:  I will never drown in you, but when drowning, you may be the thing I reach for.

grace, n.:  The wherewithal and peace you need to bring to love, and that love brings to you.

graded, adj.:  The longer we’re together, the more it feels like essay questions – no more of the true/false of our early days.

gradual, adj.:  The knowledge that love is going to happen can be instant, but love itself takes time.

graduation, n.: You're not smiling for me; you're smiling for the camera. I see you as you were, and feel fondness for all you don’t know.

graft, v.:  We don’t have to have a kid. Our DNA entwines in other ways – by building our lives together, we build a life together

grail, n.:  “You can go your whole life looking for a cup,” you tell me. “Or you can just drink from whatever’s around.”

grammar, n.:  What matters is that I know what you mean, not that you followed the rules to the letter.

grandeur, n.:  We feel a certain satisfaction when we don’t order the cheapest red on the menu.

grandstand, v.: Parade all you want, but remember that no one wants to stand watching a parade for more than an hour or two.

granitic, adj.: You can’t build a skyscraper, a cathedral, or a relationship with just any stone. You have to find one that weathers well.

grant, v.:  I will make sure you are not alone in your wishing.

graphic, adj.:  [use your imagination here]

graphologist, n.:  It scares me to think that you could fall in love with someone before seeing his or her handwriting.

grapple, v.:  Of course we must wrestle with love.  It has so many moving parts.

grass, n.:  As we lay there, time slowed to the speed of the blades gently rising, no longer able to push us, only welcome us to stay.

gratitude, n.:  More elemental than thankfulness; what happens when the deep longing inside of us suddenly flows the other way.

grave, n./adj.:  You cannot bury me while I’m still alive.

gravity, n.:  Love is a force that grounds us without us having to feel its weight.

gray, adj.:  Some sink into blue while I tend to wade into gray.  It’s still a color, but an uninspiring one.

graze, v.:  You think that words can only scrape the surface, but if there are enough of them, relentless, there will be no surface left.

greater, adj.:  There is no such equation as the sum of our parts.  Love adds imaginary numbers and makes us more than mere addition.

greed, n.:  In love, it’s the emotional hunger that makes me want to devour your time, your attention, your active affection.

greenhorn, n.:  No matter what stage of love you’re at, there’s always something that will make you feel new at it.

greeting, n.:  Over time, we’ve shifted from “hello” to “good morning,” from “hi” to needing nothing but the sound of your voice.

gregarious, adj.:  The intersection of your sense of humor and your sense of daring, often amplified by alcohol or sex.

gremlin, n.: The inner trickster that doesn't want us to think things can go well, and tries to prove itself right through sabotage.

gridlock, n.:  You run straight through caution and we find ourselves stuck. You curse. I think it’s your fault.  We aren’t going anywhere.

grief, n.: Everyone goes through it, but still it’s so specific. We lose, and don’t even have the consolation of losing in the same way.

grievance, n.:  When I applied to be your boyfriend, I was given no indication of how much overtime there’d be.

grifter, n.:  When I get paranoid, I try to reassure myself that the thrill of fooling me isn’t as powerful as actually loving me.

grim, adj.:  It’s not seeing the end coming; it’s feeling that the end happened a while ago, and you’re just now cluing in.

grimoire, n.:  Words conjure.

grin, n.:  A smile can have premeditation, but when you grin, I know it’s coming from the same place as a look of shock.

grinch, n.:  “Something about mass cheer brings coal to your heart,” you say. “And that brings me joy.”

grind, v.:  I don’t know which is worse – to stand on the sides and watch, or to be on the dancefloor and the subject of your gyrations.

grip, v.: You don't change the subject so much as make it slide out of my grasp. It's still there, but it's fallen beyond my reach.

grizzly, adj.: 6:30 a.m., no coffee.

groan, v.: 6:25 a.m., no coffee.

grocery, n.: Eventually you know which kinds of cereal the other likes, a consumer intimacy built over many baskets.

groggy, adj.: Hit the grog too hard and the grog will hit you back. You won't lose your marbles, but they'll be shaken.

groom, n./v.: I am afraid of it because it feels like the kind of role that every hair to be in place.

groove, n.:  The LP tells us -- love can't be a smooth passage. Without the irregularities playing with the path, there won't be any music.

gross, adj.:  I am reminded of the toothbrush incident, and have to remember to ask if, ten years later, he still finds it wrong to share.

grouchy, adj.:  After a while, we learned to get through each other’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

grounded, adj.:  Am I in trouble, or am I just preventing us from blowing away?

groundling, n.:  It's okay if you don't like the things I like, but you have to dislike them for a good reason.

group, n.:  I was intimidated by the communal mind and communal memory of your pack of friends.

grovel, v.:  Love should never fall to its knees.

grow, v.:  In love, you don’t just mark your growth with a line by the doorway.  You take that pencil and draw doorways instead.

grudge, n.:  “I barely even dated him,” you say, and instinctively I know his version would be more bitter.

grumble, v.:  The hiccups of guilt and protest you make when you don’t want to do something but are going to do it for me anyway.

guarantee, n.:  “I will never break your heart,” you said, and I thought, no, you should never say such things.

guarded, adj.:  My fear tries to keep my secrets locked down, but my hope keeps slipping you the key.

guardian, n.:  The most important thing is to learn to protect yourself.

guess, v.:  To take all the things I know about you and bet that they’re true.

guest, n.: It was like having an extra person lean over the side of our rowboat; we weren’t going to sink, but everything was off balance.

guffaw, v.:  Most of your laughs rise from the chest, but every now and then I get one that comes from below your knees.

guidance, n.: Talking me through the dark to get to the answer rather than simply flipping on the lights and saying, “Look-- there it is.”

guile, n.:  Your schemes against others backfire when I contemplate you trying them on me.

guilt, n.:  I know you feel bad and I want you to feel bad a little bit longer, until I feel better.

gullible, adj.: You can’t fool anyone into thinking it’s not in a lover’s dictionary.  From experience, we know that it is.

gunshy, adj.: Whether you pulled the trigger or were on the other end, the impact of the end always makes the next relationship hard.

gush, v.:  The lancet of someone else’s talent breaks through the skin of my self-conscious reserve.

gut, n.:  Why do we say that instinct is kept in the same place where bile is stored?

gutterball, n.:  “If we can’t have kids, then can we at least have a flamingo?” you ask, as a way of bringing up kids.

gypsy, n.: What if love is meant only to stay for a little while, then move on?  What if we are trying to force it to go against its nature?

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