Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tickle on Your Neck

With the sounds of accented English coming from the family room, she stretches across her bed, trying with all her might to pay attention to those last few pages of the Bible. Well, it's not like she's reading Revelation, but she is finishing what will make her a woman who had read the entire Bible. Based on the memory of her college roommate practically swooning over it, she saved Song of Songs for last, a brief eight pages about a bride and groom about to embark on their life together. The man she hopes to someday marry sits at the dining table, clicking away on his computer.

The accented English comes from a bizarre movie told in four languages, none of them particularly well spoken. Nothing made sense.

In one scene, the Mexican-born artist living in France says in English, "I want you to touch my hair."

His London-born, French speaking love interest replies, also in English, "I can't do that."

With eight minutes to go in the movie, and feeling slightly batty, she can't really take it anymore, so she removes herself to the bedroom. The sunshine filtering through the window is slightly dulled by the few remaining clouds in the sky.

The combination of the dull sunshine, the piano-soundtrack, the foreign languages, the images she's seen in the bizarre movie makes her feel that if she looks up just at the right moment, outside of her window, she will see the place she wants to live next year. She's never seen it before, never been to that great mystery of a continent, so she doesn't know what she would see if she looks up, but she has a strong suspicion that it would look nothing like the parking lot of her apartment complex.

In fact, she has a feeling it would look like Australia. At that moment, with that music, and those voices and the strange images of the movie fresh in her mind, she feels right on the cusp of her future. She believes that she will feel this again, in a year perhaps, will feel it when she stretches across her bed in Australia and looks up at the window, knowing for a fact that if she does, she will see her next future.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Real Romance

"When did you know you loved me?" A beautiful, blonde woman in a carefully designed pink tanktop and perfectly fitting ivory colored pajama pants asks the man beside her.

"From the moment I saw you." The man, with a muscular build, wearing nothing but some old cargo shorts and a smile, says, staring into her bright blue eyes.

"Oh, puhlease!!" She scoffs at the television, tossing the remote against the pillows as she turnes off the late-night movie. She rolls her eyes and gets up off the couch.

"What?" He says, looking up briefly as she saunters over to the fridge to grab a cold bottle of water.

"This show is freakin' lame."

"Huh? What are you talking about?" His glance briefly wanders in her direction and then quickly returns to the computer screen.

"It wast just completely unrealistic, completely dull and just not at all what I would want in a relationsh..." She stops talking as she realizes he's once again engrossed in his game.

He looks up again, a sheepish grin on his face, "A relationsh?"

"Oh, now you're paying attention?" She feels a tiny bit of annoyance creep into her voice, though she's trying to control it. She doesn't care if he's playing his game, as she's told him a hundred times, what she cares about is just getting to be in the same room together.

"I'm like a cat." She'd told him.


"I don't have to be pet all the time like a dog, but I just like knowing I'm in the same room as the people I care about, even doing my own thing. From time to time, you can wander over and pet my head, and I'll be happy."

He'd smiled his big open grin and hugged her.

Back in the present she looks at him, watches him decide whether she's really upset with him or just mildly irritated. Settling on the later, he says, "You don't want things to be fake in a relationship? If I had told you I loved you when I first saw you, you wouldn't have wanted that?"

"I've had that. I've dated a man who insisted he fell in in love with me the first time he saw me. I don't buy it."

"You don't want all of that romantic stuff?"

"You know I don't." She tucks her hair behind her ears, closes the door of the fridge and walks over to him. She gently kisses the top if his head, "I want you."

"Oohhh, so are you saying I'm not romantic?" He grins that lopsided smile that always gets to her.

"You're not going to get to me, Mister. I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I don't like all of that fake nonsense. I like reality. I like honesty." She strides back over to the couch, sets her water bottle on the coffee table and reaches for her book, "So, go back to your video game." She says this without a trace of irritation in her voice, and she feels a shiver of pride in herself.

"Okay." He turns his attention back to his computer screen, sighs, shuts the laptop and walks over to the couch. "Move your feet."

She lifts her feet to allow him to sit down, and rests them back on his legs once he is seated. "Please would be nice."

"Move your feet, please. I want to make out with you now."

"I'm reading." She drops her gaze and stares at him, a half smile tilting her lips flirtatiously, or so she hopes.

"Yeah, but this is reality. And I know you'd rather make out with me than read." He looks her right in her eyes, and her stomach gives a little jump.

"It's a really good book," but the book in question is already sliding out of her hands onto the floor (she barely had time to replace the bookmark).

And she gives into the romance of the moment, realizes that if this is as much romance as she gets, then she's not going to waste any time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Familiar Roles

It is undescribably true that our friends are the family we choose. Most of my closest friends, I have known for a minimum of five years. At this point, they know me far better than most of my blood family every will (with a couple of obvious exceptions). They ARE my family.

I have looked for most of my adolescent and adult life for the one person who will build a family with me, that one person with whom I will make a life. I have stood on the outskirts at many a party, watching as couples danced, as men flirted with women who weren't me. I've gone through patches of time when I was completely okay with than and others when the thought of an evening out as the lone unattached one broke my heart and encouraged me to stay home to watch Sex and the City or read a book. Generally, not wanting to be a crazy cat lady, I would go out and be the lone unattached one. I longed for the person I could call who would come to my rescue. For the person who would catch me when I fall and whom I could also save. I wanted a knight in slightly battle-worn armor, or at least someone brave enough and strong enough to come along on my crazy adventures.

And I've found him. And he's the family I will make. He's gradually melding into my blood family. The friend family takes more time, because we are built of memories and experiences that he doesn't share.

Before him, I was still here, still sitting with an aching heart as I watched my friends pair off, fall in and out of love. I have been here all along. I have had weekends spent going to Costco fourteen times with my parents (possibly a slight exaggeration), and no one called me then. No one fought for my attention when there was plenty to give.

I sometimes feel that my friends are waiting for me to fall back into the role of the unattached one. They were comfortable with that, comfortable hearing my wacky dating tales. I also believe that, at times, they think of him as another of my two-week long romances that crashes and burns before anyone even meets the guy.

It's not a year, it's not 10 years, it's not a shared adolescence or even one college formal attended as a couple. It's a simple sharing of life with none of the trappings of school.

It's "only" been six months, but, to me, and to him, that's a long time. And besides, a lifetime together, the building of a family together, has to start somewhere. Why not here?