Thursday, 13 September 2012

Love Works Best On A Desert Island



Her name? That’s private. Let’s call her Kimberly. A party at a friend's house. Suddenly there she was, sitting right next to me. I couldn’t speak. Was she beautiful? I’m not sure. It’s a word that means different things to different people. What I was sure about was that her face would haunt me forever. I was in love instantly. Utterly, hopelessly. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. In her face lay all my answers. It was like a homecoming, providing refuge, nurture and rejuvenation.
Then she turned and looked at me. I was a skeleton, the flesh stripped from my bones by some scorching, nuclear wind.
She spoke. It was something fairly banal. My wits lay scattered, the blood hammering in my brain, powering my eyes to drink in her image. You only ever meet someone like that once in a lifetime. I was excited and afraid. It was as if I’d been down on my luck and had found a suitcase, not knowing if it contained either a million bucks or a bomb to blow my head off. And there lay the problem……...…
Anyway, I don’t know what reply I finally managed. Something garbled. But here’s the thing-----she heard my words differently. She knew exactly what I really wanted to say and, to my swooning joy, she let me glimpse an answer in the depths of her eyes.
 Friends jostled around us. The spell was broken. I hated everyone for being there. I wanted to push my way past and find her. But great fear was washing over me. It was as if I had caught a whiff of nitro-glycerin from the still-closed suitcase I was holding. So I put the wretched thing down and my thoughts went like this........
Now you might not agree, but it is so easy for even the most solid relationship to slip away. It’s  this world we have fashioned, there are too many distractions. Too much temptation, conflict, and disappointment. Sadly, the demands of modern society are too many. Yeah, yeah, I know. I haven’t forgotten; and people can change! Well, of course they can, but I honestly believe that true love can survive even that. No, the problem was that what had sparked between me and Kimberly was just too damn downright dangerous. Forget the suitcase, I'd left that behind---it now felt like someone was pressing an unknown, experimental, heavy gauge weapon into my hands which I had not been trained to use. A weapon to be used against the rest of the world, and maybe, if it came to that, on Kimberly. Forget afraid. Forget frightened. I was terrified.
Now, if we had both been the only ones on a remote desert island with endless days and nights of sea and sand, I’m sure it could have worked. No weapons needed there, end of story. The trouble was, I did not know of any handy desert island.
Kimberly had now completely disappeared in the crowd. I tried to find her, but couldn’t. I was crushed. How could she leave me like this? And then I saw her.
She was at the door, leaving the party. I had to stop her. I lurched forward, but her eyes stopped me like a gentle hand to my chest. The tiniest sideways shake of her head. I knew what she was saying; its best this way. Don’t follow. This is too big. It will annihilate us and maybe others too. So be sensible, even though love is never so. We can’t let it happen, not here in this world. And, since you don’t know of any handy desert island to whisk me away to, well……..
And she was gone. I did not follow. I knew she was right, that she was much wiser than me.
Some years later I learned she had married a B-movie actor. Someone maybe like David Carradine, Dennis Hopper or Bruce Campbell, but not nearly so talented as them. Then they split up and she went to live abroad. Her ex died shortly after. I understood that.
 Now the point is that I might have taken a chance and risked us losing our lives because men like me do not have much wisdom. Besides in matters of common sense and emotional savvy women are always many leagues ahead. Most of them are very sharp, very clever, and they know exactly what must be done and how to do it. This so intrigued me that years later I explored this theme in my writing. And often the first few lines I wrote would come out all shaky as my Kimberly's face swam briefly before me. I still miss you, Kimberly, but you saved our lives---and life is so very precious, even if mine is still empty without you. I’m just an ordinary man, only you were no ordinary woman.
Many of you reading this might say I was a coward. So be it. I’m still alive, aren’t I? And so is Kimberly. And life is so very----- yeah, yeah, there I go again! But you might be right, though, since I sometimes think, what with the life I have now, maybe it would have been worth losing it over Kimberly? Wouldn’t even a few moments in her arms have been worth my entire life? Did I do the right thing? Should I have gone after her? I still wonder..........
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