It’s raining outside. Inside, thoughts of love float in the air, following me around. I let them. They whisper snippets of love stories to me. They are always welcome here. Later, I’ll sit with them. For now it’s time to walk the dogs. In the rain, through puddles in big ‘ole rainboots and smell the earth and see the muted colours and feel the damp and hear the sloshy sounds of cars and trucks rushing by and get cold enough to enjoy going back home and warming up with a cup of something hot.
It’s a weekday. You left for work hours ago, after the alarm, after espresso, after we sat reading side-by-side on the couch, the fingers of my left hand fitting into the spaces between the fingers of your right hand, before you had to shower, dress, gather up your stuff, share a brief kiss and go out into your day.
As you headed for the door, I headed upstairs. You stopped and the last thing you said to me was, “Did we kiss goodbye yet?”
I was nearly at the top step, and stopped to turn around to see you standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at me. You looked as if I had neglected something important. You looked serious.
Odd that you would forget our brief kiss just moments ago, but I answered you anyway.
“You don’t remember? A minute ago, under the archway in front of the bird-cage as you were about to put your coat on? Remember?”
You looked dubious so I came back downstairs, rested my elbows on your shoulders, touched your nose lightly with mine just before we shared a kiss, a breath, a bubble of time. And then I smiled. Duped again. You smiled.
“Gotcha,” you said as you made a mark in the air. “That’s 10 for me and zip, zero, niente, rien, nada, nul for you.”
I sniffed. “That’s because I am gullible in all languages. I can’t do what you do. I can’t keep a straight face with people I know…”
I frowned at you and came to the rescue of my gullible self. “You know, I am soon going to get to the point where I don’t believe anything you say.”
You just laughed, enjoying this game.
“I doubt that. I’ve figured it out. All I have to say to you is this: ‘did you know researchers found’ … and I will have your undivided attention not to mention your faith.”
My reaction was minimalist: a raised eyebrow and a smile. But it was clear that you have thought about my patterns of behaviour, my reactions; you have thought about me. Or at least, you have spent time putting together in your mind things about me to make such a predictive statement which, unfortunately for me, happens to be a true statement. I needed a strategy.
Nothing like a good offence.
“Isn’t it time for you to leave? And just for the record, I am now, as of this moment, officially, not ever going to believe a word you say about anything, ever again.”
You smiled that smile, the smile that pulled me in, that captured my attention the moment I saw it. You stepped close and whispered, “I love you.”
I grr’d at you half-heartedly. “So you say. Go. You’ll be late.”
“Okay, okay. Call me later?”
You smiled. Dark eyes sparkling. The freckles on your nose moved. You turned and headed out. I closed the door behind you.
Floating in the air, waiting, were all those thoughts of love and love stories.
“And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”
– Khalil Gibran