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"The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts, some figures and instructions for dancing"
- Peter Gabriel
"What do you think of when you make love to me?"
I looked into her eyes, searching for an honest answer. I was so in love and, in this fraction of time- in this moment, it was magical, spellbinding, and undefinable. An enchanted evening that Cinderella would envy. I swear there should have been cameras on us filming because everything was absolutely purely picture perfect. I swear the chair makers should have given up their trade, because there was nothing in the world that could be more comfortable than what I felt in that exact moment. I swear the night sky was created just, and solely for this one precious and profound moment in time- the time she looked up at me as my nude body rested on hers and she asked me, about my thoughts.
I dare not give her a cliche answer- she was too smart for that anyways. I dare not give her a fictional answer- she deserved better than that and the words had not yet been invented. I dare not give her a fantasy- for I didn't have to; she was my muse and my reflection. She was the sparkle that illuminated my night sky, she was the reason the song birds sang. I closed my eyes and blocked off all worldly thoughts. I heard my own heart beating. I heard my thoughts disappear. I saw the world I knew close in as darkness swallowed it whole.
All around me, in that moment, there was nothing but silence. So I searched the deepest corners of my feelings and patiently, I waited. I let myself escape in that moment and quietly, and eagerly, I listened. And with joy - as if it had never spoken before - my heart began to wag its' tail with excitement upon my arrival, and sang to me. My heart, to me, filled with joy and coupled with the pure bliss of the attention I was giving it, answered her question in reverence- beat after beat. The pounding in my chest made my body quiver in excitement and for the first time my heart, in its own voice, whispered to me.
And then it happened.
Slowly, I began to hear another voice. A familiar voice that echoed within the confines of my soul and etched its' message upon my heart. The voice was her heart and it began to speak to me. And as plainly as I knew I could breathe, I knew the sound of her love. I opened my eyes and she delicately inquired, "Where were you?"
"Purple", I answered.
I could tell she was just as confused as I was upon my answer so I tried to explain, "When I make love to you, all I can see, all I can feel over and over again is: purple. I'm so in love with you that all I taste, all I smell, and when I clear my thoughts and listen all that is there is the color purple". As honest as my answer was, I couldn't help but smile a little when I said those words and as smitten as she was, she smiled back.
"Guess what?" she asked.
"Purple is my favorite color!"
I collapsed on her and began kissing her: more deeply than any kiss could ever be measured and more passionately than any kiss could ever be imagined. I found in that moment that love was stronger than me and that love could conquer me. I was her Clyde, I was her Jack, I was her Romeo- I was, anyone she wanted me to be.
But I wasn't what she wanted.
Purple and I dated for many years and those years were the most heart wrenching years I've ever known. The ups and downs would sting and scar as only love could conjure. Save my daughter, there was no other person at that time that I had ever loved more. I had many relationships before Purple, and I'll have many after her as the years will prove, but to this day, Purple is the holder to the keys to my heart. She stole them from me faster than a bank robber would steal keys to the vault. To this day, I still think about Purple and I always wonder the dreaded "what if". But that question will never be answered, and I'm ok with that. Purple was not good for me. Most things we love never are. Cupid has a sordid way of masking the devil in the very things we adore. Purple wasn't a devil, but she broke me into a million tiny pieces, and she kept those keys she stole.
I met Purple on a whim. I was photographing her cousin and Purple loved the pictures she saw. Purple had never modeled before and was interested in having her pictures done. We spoke on the phone, and we agreed to do a shoot, but there was one problem. Purple lived too far away and the distance was overwhelming. But alas, we were kids back then, and when your young the heart doesn't understand distance. Purple visited me despite the distance, and if ever there was a thing called 'love at first sight', Purple and I were living proof. I gazed upon her beauty and wondered how God himself would allow such beauty to grace the world- for a beauty like hers was heavenly. Purple and I talked, and, we danced- oh how we danced! We danced under the smiling stars, we danced to the corny music, and we danced like no one was watching. Laughter was our best friend and every where we went the three of us were the life of the party. Our love grabbed us, wrapped us up like a new-born, and carried us away to that place where never-ending stories are written- and it was amazing.
The years that followed were were nothing short of still-life captures of a romantic party. But not even this romantic party was destined for that elusive fairy- tale ending. You see, love isn't scripted and its' pain can be found in the saddest love songs. Purple and I shared endless nights of love, glorious days by the pool, and enjoyed watching our girls become best friends. But we also endured bouts of jealousy, rage, and cheating. When love is so passionate, love is also so dangerous. When something is powerful enough to give you life, so is it powerful enough to destroy you. I should have known when Purple decided not to accompany me to a funeral when a dear loved one died, that Purple was not the one for me. For how could someone you love, leave you alone when in your darkest hour they are needed the most? I knew the answer in that moment, but love puts blinders on you like a horse and what's obvious becomes as cloudy as the bathroom mirror after a hot shower.
I would later find Purple in the arms of another lover, and my brain would finally catch up with my heart and force me to move on. And I'm glad I did - for the both of us. Yes, we were so much in love, but we were not the soul-mates we hoped to be. She would eventually find love again, and eventually I was able to glue all those million tiny pieces back together. The funny thing is when your torn to pieces and your life falls apart, if you are courageous enough to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, you come back stronger. And that's just what I did. Many years would pass but eventually my heart would dance to the same beat that Purple introduced when I see a butterfly flutter by. It's true, my heart would clam up after Purple and many heart-wrenching poems would be published because of it. As punishment, my heart wouldn't lend me it's voice for many, many years. But, even the strongest muscle in the human body cannot stand up to Love's lessons and eventually, I would hear my heart's voice again. And it will be beautiful.
I know Purple was my first unconditional love and I hope I was to her, but I think that is just my ego wishing upon a star. The truth is I still think of her often, and though we never speak, the piece of her heart that I carry with me often whispers that she too, still thinks of me every once in a while.
And that, makes me smile.