I remember well, I must have been a little over nine years old. I was neither clever nor better looking than the next boy. My passions lay in the play field, at break-time kicking and batting balls in a game of soccer or rounders’. There was no persuasion at all to venture beyond this boy caricature.
My first encounter, it jolted my little sinews and in a moment of paralysis my mouth mumbled. I had not developed the rudiments of the English language nor the cheesy one-liners boys inherit from their older siblings. Worsening my fumbles. Instead of calming my nerves and composing myself in the best possible way to my advantage, I was overcome by an urge to say something. I wish I had controlled that urge, because it exposed all my disadvantages.
She giggled and ran away.
What she left behind, were sweaty palms and a dry mouth.
For the next three years or so I recounted this episode in my head so many times over. It was my daydream and my night capsule. Yet, I avoided her at every turn.
With every thought, my feelings grew, bubbling inside like hot larva. Perfect enough reason to claim her as my own. Yet she had no idea she had been spoken for. Like the tyrant of old, I claimed her as mine to my friends and foes. Any disputes were swiftly resolved in threats and fists.
My possession of her had little to do with how she looked, neither her intellect nor amorous thoughts. It was simply how I felt. The debilitating sweats and pumby thoughts came from deep inside me. From depths I never knew a human could have.
I often wonder how she felt, or what would have happened if I had had the courage to share my agony.
The next time I experienced the bubbling hot larva was in my late teens. My voice had cracked the edifice of youth and sounded manly. In essentials I had become precise, well formed and had my share of admirers.
Yet she took the grasp off my breath. Literally. It was my first kiss. This time the rudiments of boy and girl missed me totally. Yet she placed with great dexterity her lips on mine. Slowly, she nibbled and whispered. My loins failed me.
The one kiss, the only one we ever shared possessed me for a long time to come. Suddenly I had all inclinations to make her my wife and consummate our passions. I was deliriously enchanted. I wrote verse and played musical codes to her amusement. I gave up all reason and she consumed my thoughts and days.
She was my forever.
Fast forward and somehow the tinge of a kiss is lost and the loins demand more enchantment. The in's and out's, the twists and turns, the hurts and hates, painful love and delightful romance. Becoming a creature of habit.One is further and further away from deep depth where hot larva resides. The heart dies, slowly.
Love is an experience. The closest I can recount is through the “mis-education of Lauryn Hill,” the power of her voice, the calamity of her words and the soothing melody is the best of my encounters. Nothing matters anymore. Not food, not ambition not family. You fall beyond understanding. For her it was either her Magnus opus or the fruit of the uterus. She had to choose, Zion or fame; She had fallen.
Therein lies the tragedy of love. Best personified by Heathcliff, the character from Wuthering Heights. In Heathcliff we experience the best of our emotions and the worst of our passions. It swirls in intrepid romance and crushes in lunacy. We are like Catherine, ready to forgo our prospects to be with Heathcliff. Yet in the very next turn, willing to give up our feelings for good prospects. A whirlwind of good and bad. Or like Heathcliff, the love that overwhelms and falls over the cliff.
Through Cathy’s character Emily Bronte is as close to the nature of man than any other;
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine (Heathcliff) are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”
Yet she chooses Linton. There is an obvious war between the soul and the physical self. To have one is to deny the other. This is the choice that love demands from us.
It seems from my little self, I have been quite aware of this choice. But like most I have denied my soul to edify my self.