I've Landed!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day







Leonard

The people who raised me were cynics about love.  True cynics.
My mother believed love was possible but perishes.
My dad did not believe there was such a thing as love, and that all love is faked.
These two people were true cynics and their favorite rant was young women who marry old men!!  We all know what that is about!!
An old besotted stupid man and a gold digging girl.
Pathetic.  Trashy.  Criminal, even!

You can see how I became an "early-on cynic".

Then I met Leonard.

I met Leonard when I was only 25 and he was 94.  I do not know exactly when I fell in love with him but it was quite soon.  Perhaps it was after a particularly crushing fight with my husband.  No, I was not a physically abused wife.  And for the record, the slinging items thrown at my husband all missed. Men are such good duckers!  It is built right into their DNA.

Still and all it was a loveless marriage and I was on a wasteland at age 25.

I always thought of Leonard as old, of course.
But never, no never, not ever did I see Leonard as a father figure or a grandfather figure.
Leonard was always a man to me, a fine fine man.  A man with a tucked in shirt.
Leonard was the man I wished to be married to.  To sleep with.  To talk with.  To run away with.
Trapped by marriage, two small children, a graceless religion......and my youth.....I was not a candidate for anything...except true love.

True love knows not boundaries, needs not bridges, seeks not the approval of society.

I was in love with a man who honored me as no man had ever honored me.

I was in love with a man whose face so lighted at the sight of me that every crumbled thing inside me went back together for a bit.

I was in love with a man who desired me, who appreciated me, who asked nothing from me but love.

Leonard had accomplished great things in his life, with the help of his wife, God rest her soul, and Leonard was just living now.
Great tasks done.
Great loves laid to rest.
Time to smell the roses.
We spent great time together, doing nothing, building nothing, dreaming nothing, hoping for nothing.
Living totally in the present, we spent time "being", being together.

It was the best of times.

It was the era of mini skirts, and I wore mini skirts.  Being a tiny bit modest, I always wore silk stockings or tights with my short skirts.
Life is so much more enjoyable in skirts of such ilk!
Leonard liked my mini skirts.  One spring day sitting together on a bench in a park, he smiled down at my happy upturned face and put his hand on my silk stockinged thigh.  "For a fat girl", he beamed, "you sure have class."
There has never been a compliment since which could dislodge Leonard's compliment from top place on my carefully kept stash of  compliments-I-have-received.

I never thought he would die.

Two years into our strange courtship, he died.  Quietly.  Suddenly.

I cried more for Leonard than I have ever cried for anybody.
It was the worst of times.

He was gone.

A light that had illuminated living for me had disappeared.

He was gone.

Worse than that, he was beyond my world even if he had not died.
We were separated by a gulf where bridges did not exist and could only be built on fairy wings,  and I cried for tragic love haunting our world throughout time immemorial, the haunting of "you cannot really have, you cannot really possess".

He was gone.

And I was not with him when he died.  I cried about death.  I cried about aging.  I cried about being powerless against the tide of life.  I cried about life.
He was gone......and who in my world could understand my tears, my tragic loss?
Society forbade young mothers being stupid and irresponsible.
I grieved and grieved and grieved.
Alone.

Having been in love with Leonard and known deep desire for somebody far outside the "norm", I am not a cynic about love.

Love is strange and attractions between people are inexplicably unexplainable.

True love crosses all kinds of boundaries and true love never dies.




"Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass."  
Desiderata

"Hear this now.  Death cannot stop true love".
Wesley from Princess Bride


Throughout my journey since knowing Leonard, I can always bring myself up from the depths of discouragement by looking into a mirror and reminding myself that for a fat girl, I sure do have class!  And isn't that all that matters?