Monday, November 14, 2022

Just Desert

I watch a young girl smother a young boy with hugs and kisses.  She jumps up and down.  He stands stolid as if he's earned something.  But he has earned nothing.  She has made him.  It is a gift.  And at any minute, she can take it back.  If and when she does, as far as he has risen, twice as far will he fall.  

He might get sad.  He might get bitter.  His reaction may be conditioned or it may be genetic.  I don't know.  But this is the plight of boys.  

Older, he might find someone who adores him completely.  It is a miracle.  He may be careful or he may go all in, but there is always the knowledge of the first great fall.  He's a little more careful walking the tightrope this time.  

Beautiful girls have all the power in relationships, of course.  It is an imbalance where they hold dominion.  But time has its way, and things even out--or maybe even shift.  They've married.  They've had a child.  The relationship deadens a bit as it solidifies.  There is the inevitable weight gains, a little more belly, crow's feet begin to form.  He fills out, she gets botox, goes to the gym.  One day, somebody pays attention again.  A revival of feeling.  Sex in an elevator.  Something exciting.  The mind will not stop thinking about him, about her.  

One day, one of them is devastated.  The other one feels as if they have freed their hand from the snake cage.  Maybe they divorce.  

O.K.  That's pretty old fashioned.  That's pretty binary.  The world doesn't work that way any longer.  It is documented, however, that 60% of marriages fail, but I've not seen a breakdown of heterosexual vs. homosexual marriages.  Maybe New World couples are more successful.  

But I doubt it.  People are people, beautiful, flawed, hopeful, and uncertain.  Frailty, I would guess, is equally distributed.  

I just looked at statistics.  Second marriages end in divorce at much higher rates than first.  Third marriages are almost doomed from the start.  

Interestingly, 50% of couples get back together.  That seems awfully high to me, but it also makes sense.  Time and circumstance wither us like old fruit, but someone who has loved you when you were beautiful will always see that person, that quality, something others may not.  

How do lifetime partners do it?  They

 see through the ravages of time.  

Love is exhausting.  Love lost is enervating.  

And she said, "losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow"

And yet. . . what is life without love?  

The world seems to work against it.  It is a loveless land full of broken hearts and love songs.  

 Desire and longing and looking for someone to fulfill and complete us.  

"The Sorrows of Young Werther" (link).

Sturm and Drang.

What could one tell that young boy at what seems his greatest triumph?  There is nothing.  In that most luminous and glorious moment, he stands far above the world.  This is his unjust desert.  

One way or another, he will never get over it.  It will linger like the remains of a mysterious disease without cure.  

Love, I mean.  There is no cure for love.  

Well, Grace she's gone, she's a half-written poem
She went out for cigarettes and never came home
And I swallowed the sun and screamed and wailed
Straight down to the dirt so I could find her trail
Spread out across the Great Divide
Well, I just came to talk, Saint Valentine
I never pictured you living here with the rats and the vines
Ain't that my old heart hanging out on your lines
You're all fucked up, Saint Valentine
Now I circle the bars on the promenade
While the girls in the glass, they're just throwing me shade
And I'm saving my coins up for Jingling Jane
She's out plucking strings in the pouring rain
See I'm all crooked feet, Saint Valentine
I've circled this map till it caught on fire
Now Grace she's left you just skin and bone
Well, you hang up your hat, but you can't call it home
You've tried and you've tried, but you can't call it home
You're the loneliest one, Saint Valentine
You're the loneliest one, Saint Valentine
You're all fucked up, Saint Valentine

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