falling in love learning by learning to trust self and others.
|He didn’t stand there and say “Hey Baby!”
To my surprise those friendly eyes just smiled a gregarious hello.
And he didn’t check me out, well at least not obviously.
And it was months actually until he recalled, from his diary for me,
“I met a woman tonight, she’s adorable with the prettiest eyes, where do we begin?”
He didn’t ask me who I came with, or what was my sign,
But he listened to my stories through the night with un-blinded ears,
While letting his fears step aside for a while to afford a better view.
However, I had no view of him just yet. It was Halloween at the scene, by the pool, where we met and he was dressed in a mess of robes, Mr. Lawrence of Arabia at my service.
Honestly, his garb was a bit much, I - having been touched, no tampered with one too many times by Arabic men – admit I might have stereotyped him – had he not been Italian under there.
And I was no symbol of promise either – an enchanting pirate’ess dressed in a red vest and skirt – with sword- drawn and pointed ready to puncture floating hearts that dared to bob about me.
He ordered pancakes when we arrived at the IHOP in full dress, and the Shiek of Duval met up with Hugh Hefner and a couple bunnies he knew, before leading us to the best 2am booth on the High I-Hop Seas.
He didn’t ask for a night cap, or suggest his place or mine, only that we might find sometime for coffee soon on a dune perhaps or some dessert in the desert - which ever I preferred.
He didn’t cop a feel in the parking lot, or act like he lost his keys so then needed to stay over. He simply kissed my hand and said ‘Goodnight Greenbird!” to the stuffed parrot on my shoulder.
And we met for coffee on a later date, and I tipped toed around the tough stuff that always scared them straight away and instead we talked about philosophy and emptiness and hate. And we laughed about stupid youth and learning too late, and we tried to answer questions that had long haunted both our souls.
Over my latte, and through the smoke of a lit cigarette – which he politely put up with - I saw a man with a heart as large as it was heavy, bursting with a purposed passion. I saw valiant pursuit of truth and justice worn like a coat of arms defending his aspirations. And little by little, what drew apart were the veils protecting the Shiek’s soft heart. And I saw what a man he was.
And I was scared. Scared because, I could not dare to love on this grand scale. Who was I to have such luck and I turned pale and re-set my sails. Surely when the locks on my history trunks unstuck – the ghosts would fly and rattle up the past and this love would not last.
So I ran and was on the lam on the open sea – there to seek the men who had the skin I could puncture either on purpose or accidentally. I ran my sails with the wind because I could not hurt or harm, or even begin to tatter the gallant robes adorning the heart of my new friend.
Yet, knowing I would, he stood on the shore in the desert of the budding love I left behind and waited for me to wash up at his feet.
He didn’t say I told you so, or toss sand spitefully. He didn’t come to clap or laugh at my pathetic lack of vision. He only came to listen.
And I suddenly was not afraid anymore, he wasn’t there to even the score. He didn’t stand and call me, “simple, or shallow, or naïve” To my surprise, “He rolled up his sleeves, and asked “where do we begin?”
And to my surprise, we began, again.
Then another year past for the two who dared to make it last. And we charted a course across the ocean of our friendship, that rolled into courtship with the emotions of 20 lost years of “Happily Ever After”
And I wanted more – to take hold of the oars and capture that lost fairy tale ending. I could see it beckoning and there was "the beginning" – and I shouted “Land Hoe”
But I wasn't aware of the Fog - the gray flannel veil that swam over my sweet Sheik – the haze that taunted his peaceful dreams. And in that smog, he saw no castle up the hill – it was a still image in his heart of a tower-locked maiden falling apart.
And he could just discern the lone moan of a broken knight burnt and bleeding on a blackened beach. And the painting in his head bled red from an armored smock, and echoed it seems songs of futility - of slayed dragons and rescued beauty queens.
But to my surprise I did not want to scream offenses, or to slap him to his senses.
I didn’t rave, “Why did we come all this way, if you can’t see our fate just over those waves. There, where wine runs in rivers down the mountain’s face. There, where with the sunrise we will quiver in the arms of our eternity.”
No I rose and came to him, and to my surprise I was wise, and took his hand and smiled.
And I said, “Let’s roll up our sleeves a while and set about to help those people on that isle.”
And he smiled a courageous grin, and this time to my surprise I asked him, “So where do we begin?”
And we began, again.