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A salad is simple enough to make. You can’t actually stuff it up. Add a dressing to vegetables, cheese maybe, fruit if you’re adventurous. You don’t even need the dressing, really. Love is more important, as an ingredient.

A salad is easy, if that’s what you want to make. Just take some spinach leaves, blanch them, give them a spritz of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. That’s a salad. Take nine kinds of fine lettuce, spend all day making your best vinaigrette, agonize over the minutiae, tear your hair out and leave it in clumps on your bench. That’s a salad, if you finish it, that is.

Love isn’t easy. It’s indefinable, definitively, except that it isn’t. It’s a chemical reaction in your brain, as much as it is the feeling you get when your stomach flips itself inside out, when your heart rate quickens, when your pupils dilate. Tear your hair out and leave your heart vulnerable.

A salad is love is a salad. Food is an expression of necessity and altruism, in the same way that we live and breathe love, every day. You can make love as easily as you make a salad, with fewer ingredients. A salad will wilt and die if left unattended. Love will wax and wane as the fires of the sun dance on the horizon in the tenderest of evenings.