valentine’s day

Love and Marriage

My parents’ relationship didn’t exactly inspire trust in the institution of marriage. In fact, their almost nightly screaming matches convinced me at a young age that marriage was hopeless and broken. When their tirades began I would usually go try to hide in the garage or outside in the bushes. Their arguments would echo throughout the neighborhood, and I would try to position myself out of earshot, but I could never get far enough away. More than sad I felt embarrassed. Embarrassed for them, what with the sheer volume and prolific profanities over the seemingly most mundane disagreements. Things that should not provoke such responses. I also felt embarrassed for myself, since they were my family and I was somehow involved by genetics and proxy, despite my best attempts to distance myself from it all. Every time I heard them arguing I told myself that I would never get married, because it seemed to bring out nothing but spite and swearing and angry sentiments. My sister and I were forgotten victims. When my father finally left for good and the house fell silent, it felt like a release from torture. Until, that is, my mother eventually turned her nagging bitterness on me, but that is a different story.

When I met my wife I felt a certain connection that was beyond profound, and I was truly frightened. I had been in plenty of relationships of many lengths, but usually entered into them with the understanding that they were all doomed, no matter how amazing, lustful, or fulfilling they felt at the time. I always had an escape plan, an emergency exit for when things went south. As involved as I may have seemed I never fully invested myself with the thought of marriage as an end result, and that made it all temporary and disposable. But this woman that became my wife terrified me. She was so smart, beautiful, and exotic. She had viewpoints I admired and respected, and became a beautiful foil to my foibles and detachment. She drew me into her in a way that I never thought was possible. She broke down those prison walls and let me free, and helped complete the person I was meant to be.

Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife, my love, my other half.

family photo (by flora-file)

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A Different Kind of Love

Inter-racial? Same sex?
These distinctions are petty.
What about inter-species love?
What about love between kingdoms?
Can a bee love a flower?
Can a flower love a bee?
D
o they need each other?
Isn’t that Love?
 

a different kind of love (by flora-file)

First Love

They were young, a couple obviously enamored with each other, but that wasn’t the whole story. There was something about the way they carried themselves, something carefree and stressless and oozing youth like some sort of magical fountain. They danced on the sand, felt the curves of each other’s bodies with force and fits far beyond lust. But it wasn’t lust yet. It far was too innocent for such distinctions. The way they moved, forceful but not pressured, frenetic but not frantic, just pure enjoyment, everything lost and forgotten as they discovered each other in that moment.  That first taste of love, so sweet and naive I could practically taste it myself. Watching their joy, their emphatic ease of motion and motive, their enamored and taut young bodies on the beach, I could only conclude that my best years were truly behind me.

Young love (by Nina Matthews Photography)

Love You To Pieces

There was a point when I still held onto the hope of rebuilding the shards of my heart. I had collected them carefully as to not draw any more blood. Too much had already been spilled. I swept them into a brown paper bag with a whisk broom and placed them beneath the extra pillow on the empty half of the bed.

There was a point when I truly believed, though less and less each lonely day, that I could actually reconstruct the hundreds of sharp pieces into what I originally had. I could hardly remember what it looked like in the first place. When I looked in the bag I saw dangerous looking slivers, twinkling like bloody diamonds, too sharp to handle, but too shiny to ignore.

Finally I could take it no longer and poured them onto the carpet. For weeks I struggled to place the pieces back into some vague semblance of the original, giving up and starting over more times than I cared to count. Eventually I realized that it could never be the same. There was a piece missing, the piece you had taken with you. The piece that was you.

Broken heart (by bored-now)

The Kiss

It all started with a kiss, but doesn’t it always. There’s lots of different kinds of kisses, like a hurried kiss or a slow kiss, a kiss hello or a kiss goodbye, a passionate kiss or a dispassionate kiss, a sweet kiss or an angry kiss. A wet, sloppy kiss or a kiss of death. I’m not sure what kind of kiss it was. I think it was probably a hopeful kiss more than anything, if there is such a thing. Maybe a blind kiss of idiocy is closer to the truth. Like I said there are all kinds of kisses. The kiss I remember seems to oscillate between various incarnations, like it may have been every type of kiss at the same time. And just as it was the beginning, so was it the end.

I suppose there were promises involved, implied though mostly unspoken. Promises I made to myself, promises I made to others, promises others made to me. If you understand the power of the kiss then you’ll also understand that the restorative values of the kiss walk hand in hand with the destructive powers of the kiss. Two sides of the same coin. I just thought that things might turn out different. A frog is a prince is a frog. No matter what there will always be some frog left in there somewhere, and a little frog goes a long way. Happily ever after doesn’t always turn out that way. That’s not how every fairy tale ends.

He wasn’t a frog anymore, but he was definitely no prince. I was convinced that if I kept kissing him he would turn centimeter by centimeter into a prince eventually. Or maybe just turn back into a frog and hop back into the swamp he came from. The kiss continued like the bad dream I’m convinced it became. Each kiss was every type of kiss all rolled into one, and every time I ended up tasting the bitter twinge of disappointment, stuck in limbo between amphibian and prince. And with every kiss something changed, though I’m not sure if it was him or me.

For Valentine’s Day he gave me flowers and a box of chocolate worms. He kissed me and caught a fly that was buzzing around the room. I realized there would always be a little bit of frog left no matter how many times I kissed him, and I think I was finally able to accept it. We ate the worms and shared a few more kisses, and then a lot more. But it wasn’t until I gave birth to tadpoles nine months later that the truth of the situation sunk in.

That kiss was the biggest mistake of my life.


A Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?

Kiss me (by aftab.)