“Have you ever made love under the sun?” I’d never met anyone like her. She was beautiful, but intense. Her words were always very measured, and very intentional. She didn’t laugh much, though she had a wonderful laugh. I always wanted her to laugh more than she did, though in all the years I’d known her, she didn’t laugh much.
“Of course not. What kind of a question is that?” In my head, I thought ‘she talks in riddles way too much’.
“It’s the question you should ask yourself, though not necessarily the first.”
“What’s the first?”
“That’s easy. Do you love?”
“What do you mean — ‘do I love?’”
“You know what I mean. Everyone does. You’re just scared by the question.”
“Of course I love. I mean, I love the people that I love — my family and my friends.”
“Of course you do.”
“Why do you say it like that?”
“What do you mean ‘say it like that?’”
“You sound condescending when you are asking me if I love. Of course I do.”
“People say the word ‘love’ all the time. Even those people who never say the word say it. It’s like the word ‘good’ and ‘nice’. They are all so overused, but yet the inherent meaning behind them is so powerful. We should only say those words when we really mean it.”
“So if I say it a lot, does it mean that I mean it?”
“If I don’t say it much, do I not mean it?
“Or if I don’t say it much, do I mean it more than if I say it a lot?”
“You are so not helpful.”
“Look, you can say the words as often as you like… ‘love’… ‘good’… ’nice’… You can say the words as little as you like. But your heart knows. And those that hear it are actually looking at your heart to see whether you mean it or not. The heart never lies. That brings me back to my original question. Have you ever made love under the sun.”
“Like I said before, I haven’t.”
“It’s a trick question.”
“I don’t know what the trick is?”
“A thousand splendid suns could never compare against the awesome beauty of a single full moon.” She said that like we should all know better. She continued, “That’s why couples would rather make love under the moon. It’s just so much more meaningful.”
I had not seen her in years, though when I knew her, it was for years. The moment I met her, I felt that I could swim inside her eyes, or at least I had wanted to. It would be years before that was finally realized. She was a deep thinker and she felt everything around her, everything the world had to offer, the good and the bad. I admired that about her. I was drawn to her for that and so many other reasons.
But for some reason, I resisted. “That seems so cliche to me. No one does that, except in the movies.”
“That’s the problem with life. And people living what they think is a life. They think that the things that happen in movies don’t exist. I’m telling you that they do. They are on the edges of our imagination. They are the things we want. They are the things we want to say. They are the things we want to do. They are the things we have always wanted. Whether it be movies, novels, short stories or poetry, they all speak to the things we really want. But because they are on a big screen or on paper, we think that they don’t exist. But they do. They most certainly do.”
“They do?” I commented skeptically, though I was being drawn in, as I always did when I talked to her.
“They absolutely do. But hey, don’t believe me if you’re not sure. Just walk around and take a look.”
And so I did. I went on an adventure. That adventure took me all over the world in search of love. I visited family. I visited friends. I happened upon strangers. I road-tripped up and down California. Several times. I went up to Seattle, and then came back down. I drove from San Francisco to Washington, DC; and then I came back. I left for Thailand. And came back. I left for India. Again, I came back.
I was in bus terminals. I was in train stations. I was in airports. I went to hospitals. I went to schools. I went to homes. I visited young kids. I visited old people. Through it all, with every encounter, it was me that I was getting to know. All the while, my mirror was with me. Already ten years old, my dog had a youthful vigor coupled with puppy-dog eyes and puppy-dog energy. Through his eyes, I saw myself as I was living my life these last few years. I saw love. I saw it in its purest form. And for the first time in a long time, I felt alive and realized that what I wanted was always right there before me.
I asked her, “I saw a movie once, since you were just talking about movies the other day. This dialogue caught my attention. ‘Do you guys believe in love at first sight? …that you could meet someone, or just… across a room, and with that one glance you could look in their eyes and see their soul. Do you believe that could happen?’”
She was reading my mind, “I know the movie intimately. Yes, I believe that could happen. It’s very much like making love under the moon. I think you know immediately. As soon as your eyes lock. Then everything that happens from then on just proves that you were right in that first moment. When you suddenly realize that you were incomplete and now you just became whole.”
I had known her for a while, and yet only now did I just see her. I liked the things she said; and I liked the way I felt when I was with her. It felt like the first time all over again. She was right. I wanted to make love to her under the moonlight, not the sunlight. Love was much more alive under the moon’s soft glow than it ever was under the sun’s bright gaze. And that’s not saying anything against the sun.
“I told you so so.” I heard her say.
I smiled inside, thinking that I liked her even more when she said, ‘I told you so’.
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