by Kactus Berry
Conversation about the perfect love.
|A Love In Mind
"What ya drinking, Brandon?" Charlie said looking over to his friend, knowing the response.
"Same as usual." Brandon tried to dig out his wallet.
"Forget it, man. This one's on me."
"Thanks," Brandon said sitting back in his seat.
As it was each time these two friends of long ago, played out their ritual within this little bar they patronized so often. Charlie, only slightly older, maintained quite a different life style than did Brandon. He was married, had children, worked for the state’s administration office. Other then their timely visits to the little tavern, Charlie was used to normalcy and routine of home life. Charlie was generally pleased with his life. Although both men knew each other all their lives and really never realized what the difference may feel like if the other would be absent, Brandon’s personality was remarkably different.
Brandon lived alone and mostly kept to himself. He worked for Sprint Telephone, as a systems analyst and was regarded by his employer as irreplaceable. His intellect was more superior than most could imagine. He was multitalented and gifted in so many ways that Charlie had long given up on envy and recognized Brandon for what he was. But the average person would not see Brandon as any different than themselves. Brandon was polite and kind. A little quiet around strangers but well mannered. On the surface Brandon appeared to be as normal as any man is but within his mind flowed thoughts and ideas so complex that he finally abandoned any attempts of trying to explain them. Charlie often teased him saying that he would die from "Genius Syndrome" but wondered if part of his joking may be partially true.
Charlie knew that he could not compete with Brandon’s intellect and Brandon was good enough not to destroy their conversations with concepts and theories. Charlie instead concerned himself with Brandon’s personal life, which he humorously enjoyed. But he was sympathetic toward his friend and bothered him often about not having a girlfriend. It saddened him to know that Brandon was lonely, even though he would never admit it. His wife regularly tried to set him up with her friends but Brandon, as lonely as he was, had a habit of being very picky and distinct in his views of the perfect woman.
It wasn’t that Brandon was arrogant or expected too much, but that he was extremely romantic in heart and found it difficult to deal with the absence of passion in most of the women he met. He did indeed look for beauty and intelligence but as well he searched for the soft, gentle touch, the overwhelming feeling of love; the passion that he felt that the world was conditioned to believe had died some time in history. Many hours he sat in thought, wondering about his views, and decided it may be possible that some may feel the same. But had been trained or forced by experience to think that a man with this type of approach is simply using that as a tool to get close to them; just a line or come-on. And now, at this time, he only wondered about her. The one he has created in his mind that part of his heart told him is alive and waiting, while the other part tried to convince him to live with the longing.
The waitress came to their table and Charlie gave her their order. She took their order and walked off to another table. Charlie looked after her. Brandon took notice that she was pretty and then returned his attention to his friend.
"Man, would you look at that!" Charlie said knowing that if his wife heard such things coming from his mouth that he would face a week’s worth of cold dinners.
"Yeah, she’s pretty," Brandon said immediately.
Charlie looked directly at Brandon for a moment in silence.
"Ok man! Just get off it!" Brandon blurted out.
"Hey, she’s good looking. You can’t deny that!"
"I can see that, Charlie," Brandon said. "I have ‘serviceable’ eyes, ya know."
"Well?" Charlie said smiling, making apparent his intentions.
"What would you have me do? Ask a woman out for a date while she working!" Brandon whispered harshly.
"Sure!" Charlie cracked back. "It has probably happened before, from time to time."
Brandon gave him a crooked glance.
"I think, Sir, what you are trying to say is that it has probably happened many times before and she would be offended."
"Your killing me, kid" Charlie laughed.
"Ya know, Brandon" Charlie started but stopped suddenly when the waitress interrupted with their drinks.
She placed them on the table, ice clinkled in the glasses while Charlie handed her a ten-dollar bill.
"Keep it," he told her. She smiled and gave him thanks for such a generous tip.
"Nice tip," Brandon said sarcastically, "Just whom are you trying to set this girl up with: me? Or you?"
Brandon picked up his drink and took a sip.
Looking up he said, "Your wife might have something to say about that!"
Of course he knew that Charlie loved his wife but he took every opportunity to turn the tides on his old friend.
Laughingly Charlie said, "At least I know how to recognize a beautiful woman", continuing his sentence before the interruption.
Their conversation swayed back and forth from subject to subject as the hours passed. Sometimes it would be about a passing girl that Charlie noticed and failed to resist the temptation to get after Brandon about. Others were about life in general. Occasionally, concepts and technology would play their role but Brandon would see that his friend was simply being polite in his understanding and he would change the subject. As words conversed between the two, Charlie held in the back of his mind how nice it would be if his good friend could find what was the only thing lacking in his life.
Brandon knew what love was. He often wrote poetry and love letters which were not intended for the eyes of others. Many times he enjoyed a fine relationship but they all eventually came about to the same ending. His romantic inspiration did not come from any one woman, but rather from the one he envisioned in his mind. Created by bits and pieces of those parts, which were good to him in relationships that he knew from the past, or sometimes just by the look of a pretty stranger that he imagined might be nice to meet.
One time, Charlie found some of Brandon’s letters and read through them. He would probably lie about finding them but justified reading them because "Brandon is like family, and families have no secrets, right?" He could never tell his friend about finding the letters and, therefore, could not tell him how deeply he was moved by his writings. It was then that he realized how lonely his best friend actually was and from that time on he focused his efforts to finding Brandon his perfect mate.
One of the letters he found was written on crumpled up sticky notes left on top of the desk. It was very short and not as detailed as Brandon was accustom to be. Charlie had thought to himself that he must have been doodling when he wrote this. The short letter read:
I dream of your beauty sweetly filling my sleeping thoughts.
Long for the tender sound of your voice to awaken me.
On the break of light, my heart beckons for you.
Very gently my weeping eyes search for your touch.
Earnestly waiting to find it, as to renew this life.
Young will become my heart, full of blistering joy.
One passion, one love, one happiness.
Under the realm of a lost world, you will find and save me.
Then a space and the words:
"How a man should tell his wife that he loves her."
After Charlie read the short poem, at the last line, he realized that the first letter in each sentence spelled out, "I LOVE YOU." He chuckled to himself and thought; "Brandon never did do anything the easy way." Just next to the note he saw on another sticky note: "For I = 1 to 100 :: CalcTimeSync()" and other codes and thought to himself this must be some sort of computer language. He pondered a few minutes about how contrast this seems that a computer geek could be so passionate.
"Are you there?" Brandon said and Charlie sprang back to the present.
"Yeah sure," Charlie said. "What were you saying?"
"You ready for another?"
"Yeah man, set 'em up."
Brandon looked over to the waitress until she nodded in acknowledgement.
"Now’s your chance, dude!" Charlie said with excitement.
"Ya know Charlie," Brandon began, "Regarding time travel: According to relativity theory the length of a body as measured by an observer in uniform relative motion is less than that measured by an observer at rest with respect to the body."
"Ok, Ok. I get ya," Charlie sneered, "I’ll stop as long as you don’t start that time travel crap with me."
Brandon just smiled.
"But listen…" Charlie finally said.
Brandon butts in and said, "Did you know that…"
"Wait a minute," Charlie said, "Just wait a minute."
There was a long pause and Charlie looked down at the table. He fumbled a bit with his glass and without lifting his head he said, "I’ve got a confession to make."
"You’ve read my poems."
Charlie quickly looked up at Brandon. He felt the blood rush into his face making the skin around his eyes become warm.
"Yeah," Charlie said, "I did... But how did you…"
"Photographic memory, man!" Brandon chuckled. "I noticed everything that you moved."
There was another short pause. Charlie thought to himself about how long Brandon must have known without saying a word.
"You don’t actually think that I’m smart, do you?" Brandon laughed finally.
"You’re being modest," Charlie said. "But those poems, I mean…. Wow! There must have been hundreds of them. I know that you wrote those while we were in college way back when, but I can’t stop thinking that, that hasn’t changed, right?"
Brandon smiled as his answer.
"Listen," Charlie began, "I’ve known you all my life... I know what your feeling and about that wondering mind of yours... And ‘wondering’ for you is no simple thing." Charlie continued, "Brandon, you are like a brother to me. In fact, that’s how I see it! You are my brother. I just want the best for you, man!"
"You may be right", Brandon said softy after a moment.
Charlie almost went into shock, expecting Brandon to change the subject.
"Well…" Charlie said not really knowing what to say now that he had permission to do so. "Tell me about ‘the one’. Tell me about the perfect woman."
"First lets define what love is," Brandon said.
Charlie sneered thinking Brandon had tricked him and was going to turn this into just another ‘Technical’ conversation.
"Bear with me," Brandon began, "let me finish."
Charlie agreed with a nod.
"For me, love has it’s own definition for everyone. A match is made, if you will, when two people share the same definition. Being attracted is the first step but only the first step. This is a hard step to make, I will admit. And many can’t get past that. But it does happen. And when it does, the really hard part begins.
"Ok, tell me something I don’t know!" Charlie jumped in.
"Love is an existence," Brandon said. "It exists when all else becomes extinct. No matter how one feels, good or bad, his thoughts of love are never changed. As a father loves his son no matter how much trouble he is; so should a man love his wife. You may have noticed that when a couple gets a divorce they hate each other. But they both still love their children. Now if only the couple had loved each other in the same way then a divorce would have never been an option."
"Ok!" Charlie said pondering. "What if the woman cheats or vice versa?"
"Do you love your wife?" Brandon asked.
"Yes, of course I do."
"Would you ever cheat on her?" he continued.
"Hell no!" Charlie said.
"Because I love her."
"Now if I asked her the same thing, what do you think she would say?"
Knowing this is not actually a question but a prelude, Charlie sat and waited.
"You see, Charlie," Brandon said, "the definition is clear. And as long as both of you believe in the same thing then love will exist. With that existence, all other things fall into place. Relationships fail to work when one of the two, or both, forget what their love is about. When they forget its’ definition. Relationships cannot rely on love alone, but without it all else fails."
Brandon stopped for a moment, than said, "Can you see the meaning about it? Love can exist even when all else fails, but all else will surely fail when love no longer exists."
Charlie nodded in acknowledgement.
"Think about this," Brandon said directly, "when a couple gets together and they are in love, a lot of the little quirky things that he does may seems cute and humorous to her, but when the relationship is ending they become pathetic to her – now why is that? You are basically who you are all of your life. People’s personalities don’t significantly change once they’ve been established within themselves. So when the relationship ended, they were the same people as they were before they met. So what is the difference?" Brandon paused. "The definition of love had changed or is not being recognized!"
"Makes sense to me," Charlie chuckled. "So what your saying is that you haven’t found a woman with the right ‘definition’ yet, right?"
"Something like that," Brandon smiled.
"So describe to me what she should look like," Charlie grinned.
Brandon laughed out loud. "You’re beginning to sound like a gossip to me."
"Like in your poems!" Charlie said. "If I could only write like that, man, I’d have my wife doing the jig."
"So what you’re really wanting is a writing lesson," Brandon joked.
"No, but if it makes you feel better then ok," Charlie laughed.
"Since you are so much ‘in love’ with my writings, I’ll explain with a poem"
"Go for it!" Charlie jumped in.
"Ok, here it goes." Brandon sat a moment in thought...
"’I sat at the table and asked for a drink.
Paying no mind to my surroundings I sit just looking out the glass window and watched the winds blow across the treetops.
Stretching my back, I look around a bit and my attention is brought upon what must have been an angel, masked in flowers living in brilliant colors made only for the heart to see.
I became lost in the glow of tones that radiated from her being.
Indeed, and I was stunned by her and could not look away.
I followed the curves of her face and began to memorize each line as if I was told that this would be the last vision my eyes will see.
So soft and gentle she appeared.
burned sharply into my mind forever.
I was fixed in place and could not move my eyes in any direction that she was not.
Never before have I ever been so entranced and lured by such a beautiful woman.
Even if we never meet.
No chance to hear her voice.
Never knowing the soft touch of her skin.
I will not regret.
I have been blessed and bestowed upon a gift that will always remain in my mind when I remember back and see her in my memories.’"
He paused and stared at Charlie, waiting for a critical response. "That’s it," Brandon said.
"That was beautiful!" It was a voice of a woman.
Not realizing that the waitress brought their drinks and had been standing by listening, both men slightly jumped in their seats and looked up at her.
"You just made that up off the top of your head?" she asked.
Neither man said a word.
"My name is Lydia," she said. "What’s yours?"
"Brandon!" Charlie said smiling, "This is Brandon!"
"Hello," Brandon said quietly.
"Brandon!" Charlie said in a low but firm voice, "Relax man, poems were meant to be told."
"I get off in a few hours, you still gonna be around?" she asked.
"Oh yeah!" Charlie spoke up. "We’ll be here ‘till closing."
"Shut up Charlie!" Brandon snaps.
Lydia asks, "What kind of love are you looking for, anyway?"
"What kind are you looking for?" Brandon returns.
"I want a man who loves me of course," Lydia said, "and maybe a man who looks at me like in your poem. How romantic your poem was. I was touched."
"Believe it or not…" Brandon said, "that ‘poem’ was about you. I thought of it while looking at you."
Lydia blushed and looked down in embarrassment.
"Thank you," she said.
There was a moment of silence. Brandon picked up his glass. Charlie sat with a smile cemented to his face. Lydia waited for Brandon to say something.
"What do you want in your love?" she finally asked.
"You want to know what I want?" Brandon replied.
Brandon sat for a moment and then looked at her; looked at Charlie, then closed his eyes.
"I don’t want a love that I can live with… I want a love that I can’t live without."