A very stately elder gentleman friend of mine has recently stated that there are few people for which he would travel to the end of the Earth. I pondered that statement and then said “Tell me about this.”
He closed his eyes for a few moments and then tried to explain.
“Well, there are a lot of babes in my past: You know, the good-looking girls with little to say, the intelligent ones that could really converse, the good friend types that were comfortable, but I have to admit, I wouldn’t have gone to the end of the earth with any of them. This one, this gal, I am willing to put my money on the line and see where it goes. And yes, it feels different. This feels different. This feels like love.” I stood up and gave him a standing ovation. After all, I have been in his life for twenty years, and seen him in and outside of a marriage and wondered. I never thought in a million years that he would find someone for the happy ever after. And now he’s pondering the end of the earth junket?
I love the thought: to the end of the earth. I’m glad Galileo figured out that it is round, or we’d fall off for being goozy with someone and yes, following them to the end of the earth.
But wicked humor aside, it is a lovely thought. I have to wonder how many people really have ever felt that way about anyone in their lives, even their spouses. It caused me to sort of workshop my own history and so I went over a mental list: no, never, you’ve got to be kidding, maybe, huh, d’know, another weak maybe and then I screeched to a halt.
OH YEAH!, John. I would have gone to the ends of the earth for that fine fellow, and in many ways I did. He’s gone now, left way too soon, or I would still be doing “Same Time Next Year” with him, somehow, even if we got to walkers and guide dogs. But why John? why not the man I married? why not that other dreary list of maybes and d’knows?
I think it has to do with serendipity, magic, and the ole tried and true, falling in love. Things look different from the other side of rose-colored glasses. The practical to do list of a relationship simply flies out the window. It makes no sense to make sense of any of it. So maybe it also has the attribute of surrender, to a what the hell, I’ve never felt quite this way in my entire life.
Now some may run far from this realization. Some may hide in a stable of wannabes…men are particularly good at that option, But ever so now and then, the bug bites and the “victim” surrenders.
But I need to get back to the End of the Earth gig. Sure, falling in love is written about in just about every category of existence. It’s the bug bite thing, the itch that needs to be scratched, the feeling of falling…not rising…falling, through space, with a kind of out of control lack of direction. I’ve always counselled that this feeling this falling in love thing lasts eight or so weeks. The can’t live with out it business gets dusty about then and a more practical side sets in. ……for most…..but then there are those rare couples that stay goozy for a life time.
I remember an old actor once talking about his marriage of 50 years. He said, “Hell, I still want to grab her in into my arms as soon as I hear her key in the lock.” WOW. That’s impressive. But, hey, that’s how I felt about John. Every time I’d see him, even after thirty years, I just had to catch my breath. The sex had gone to the retired end of things but the wow moment hadn’t. I cherished him. That’s it. I cherished him.
So back to the 8 weeks of falling in and out of love for most, it takes a transition of sorts. Falling in love is some sort of whaky mechanism to get pheromones cracking toward the perpetuation of the human race. Let’s face it, and let’s blame pheromones. But science aside, loving is a completely different ball of wax. It requires some sense of time, wounding, losing, finding, staying the distance but it ain’t falling off the rooftops with passion. …….unless it is.
After all the ins and outs of trying to figure out my life of princes charming, dark knights, cool dudes and just plain fabulous men, I guess the Ends of the Earth statement brought me to my knees. TWO out of 50 or so (no I am not a trollup, I just have years on this one), made the cut. TWO! But John, could take all of my frequent flyer miles, if he had asked.
My proper gentleman friend is pondering this as we speak. He and his sweetheart are going to Antarctica together on a boat cruise. Now that’s the test of a lifetime, for me at least: a boat surrounded by water for many many days, a tiny stateroom, and lots of folks we don’t know. It can mark disaster or the most wonderful adventure of all time, but yes, it is to the ends of the earth, and he knows it. Smitten? oh yes, smitten.
As I sit and drink my second cup of coffee, I stare out at freshly falling snow. Suddenly, I am sitting with John somewhere in time and the feeling I had has not diminished. He passed some ten years back and I still love him to bits and will so far beyond my years.
And when it comes to the End of my earth? You bet your sweet ass, I’ll be looking for him on the other side.