Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spent and Vaguely Regretful

There is that one person you fall in love with and know you will never climb back out. They are your soul mate, the love of your life. Hers, like yours, remains permanently lodged in a special chamber of the heart even though she never was able to find appropriate place for him in her life. She is not thinking about that guy today.

Then, there are all the unremarkable ones scattered in your history and perhaps somewhere in your future. They were okay, really. They may have heard trouble pronouncing certain words. Been a little taller than you like. Perhaps tactless. Maybe certifiably dumb. But those little things didn’t really matter much. The thing you really held and still hold against them, is how unremarkable they were. She has a whole universe of those. She is not thinking about anyone of them either. After all they were unremarkable.

Today, she thinks of a guy that never fits any of those boxes. He was not THE ONE. He was not unremarkable either. He was with her back in the day when romance was standing in the dark by your parent’s fence. Together they lived through minor heart attacks whenever adult-like shadows approached. Together they must have killed a colony of mosquitoes. Together they forged through the erratic messages sent by teenage hormones and together came out pure.

He didn’t fall in love with her. He chose her because he held her family in high regard. From him she got her first kiss. Every now and then, he copped a feel but understood the limits of teenage love and respected them. He decided he would marry her one day and then went back to school to read hard so he would provide well for her when that future came. He knew the church they would be married in – St. Paul’s Cathedral. He sang in the diocesan choir. Indeed, he talked to the Archbishop of the time and booked a slot for sometime in the future.

He would have made a good dad. He would have taught his children the right values and treated his wife with respect. Life with him would have been normal. No drama, no overflowing passions. No fiery spates of anger. No sweeping moments of romance. No coldness over unexplained offences. Just a guy who knows what is right and does it. He was remarkable in that so ordinary way! That ordinary way that allows a relationship to be just that – a relationship.

She saw all these things and registered their significance. She knew that one day, with natural easy, her parents would approve of the gentleman he would become. He was right but not the one. She just didn’t feel THE spark.

So she went out into the world to find the spark. She found quite a few. The thrill of backseat car love. The knife-sharp regret that follows drunken choices. The daze of infatuation. The belly-down deliciousness of adult love. The bewilderment of heartbreak. The sting of rejection. She found many sparks.

Now she wakes, to catch an intermission in the movie about her life. Spent before her time, exhausted by the sparks and adventures, she thinks of that guy who chose her way back then. What happened to him and that slot with the Archbishop?