He stood there, in his checkered orange, red, and green plaid boxer shorts and businessman’s pinstriped shirt—and yes, black socks, which climbed half way up his now naked calves toward his bare white knees—reciting all the synonyms he could call to mind for the word “love”: “affection,” “fondness,” “caring,” “tenderness,” “compassion.”
“These,” he thought, “were fine, but they were all about only one kind of love. There were others: “arousal,” “lust,” “desire,” “passion,” “infatuation.”"
Then, turning toward his bed, where his wife lay after she had fallen asleep earlier that evening, long before he had finished watching the final innings of the Boston Red Sox game on TV, downstairs, he caught a fleeting glimpse of himself, half-dressed half un-dressed, in the bedroom’s full-length mirror.
“Why,” he wondered, were there so many different words for ‘love’”?
He carefully folded his pants neatly along the crease, as if preserving them for storage in a museum or a sacred shrine, silently slipped them over a hanger and into his darkened closet.
“Maybe,” he thought, “it’s because there are so many different kinds of love in the world?”