city of love
Early evening In Paris, in the company of a recently married couple, leaving our hotel in search of the Tour Eiffel. Will we walk? Will we ride bus 63 then 24? Will we take the metro? Do we want to get there quickly or have a beer first?
The map with the metro and bus routes rustles she checks routes and numbers. The map never leaves her hands yet the decision making is clearly mutual. I chip in ‘Hoorah’ when having a beer is thrown into the mix then comment that I don’t mind how or when we get there.
The discussion takes minutes, it’s like an elegant dance. If alone I would already be sat in that bar drinking a beer, watching the world go by, listening to people and relaxing. In their company I am happiest to be stood on the street corner listening to the uncovering of each others values, finding out what works best for both of them, together. It’s sensible, practical, sometimes funny, time consuming. It’s love. I am watching love happen and glad to be temporarily touched by it’s closeness.
My understanding of a couples’ love has been changed by not having lived in it for over a decade. I’m not speaking of the love of family, friends, my recently departed Matrix or her remaining companion. I’m speaking of the sharing and merging of selves. In my last decade there was the too-sluggish death of a rejected love, skirmishes into sexual relationships, the love of close friends and cats. My view on the love between a couple is now mainly drawn from strong memories of my 4 very different loves from the last century, watching and listening to others, and the stories told in books, films, blogs and newspapers.
The loves that I see shining brightest is in sharing the detail of living. Things like shopping for food, preparing a meal, deciding how to spend the evening. All show love. Maybe those of you who are living in love find this odd when the passion and joy in the laughter, warmth, smiles, praise, sex, and scents can be so wonderfully intense and engulfing. I can find laughter, warmth, smiles, praise, sex and scents in my life. When I’m with friends and family there is also the mutual knowledge of sharing the detail of life with someone who has gradually built an understanding of what works. When the passion and the detail meet with another single person, this is the couples love. Not part of my life.
We stopped for some golden beers before taking the Metro to the Tour Eiffel. We danced through the park basking in the glory of the tower’s golden night-time plumage.
This post is dedicated to Paris, the traveler, her first love, her husband, and the memory of Matrix.