Nocturnal Meanderings On Love
Usually, taking a late night stroll through the village meant I had something to work through, a fresh helping of intellectual, emotional or moral cud to chew through and feed into the grist mill that was my mind.
Not lately. Not tonight.
Once I turned fifty, I'd reconciled with the failed romantic image of myself. That smiling cardboard cutout that would occasionally pop up in the shooting range that was my dreams, and gallantly take every bullet my subconscious would fire at it, had reluctantly allowed me to shove it into early retirement.
I've had my loves; genuine, compelling loves that resonated, and will continue to accompany me to the pine box. I've stopped pining for "the next one". It wasn't giving up, or even a tacit resignation. It was acknowledging that now, finally having got my ducks in a row, and having clearly defined what I want in a mate, the irony that she probably does not exist simply became overwhelming. I accepted it.
Then along came Spider Woman.
For me love, though remaining nebulous, nonetheless has always proven rather easy to identify within myself. All the senses known to man become sharper and more clarified. Given the preponderance of folly in modern man, this also makes me vulnerable to experiencing the less savory aspects of life in a more heightened fashion as well. But love always outweighed any misanthropic leanings that wrestled it for my spotlight.
Love has been written about ad nauseum, and I could tinker with words and phrases to try to capture it in a unique light, but that would be vanity. When I had it, it brightened my life and made everything look, feel, sound and taste better. No need to stretch the limits of my linguistic ability. It's really that simple.
The obvious flip side of that elusive coin is what makes love so treasured. Without it, I tend to be a lesser me. To go through life in a slightly shrunk carapace, as opposed to the puffed out feather chest of the Cock that rules the roost. Life can still be lived, and quite nicely, on that plain. The trouble is that love, that most addictive of drugs, never lets go once its claws have been sunk in. You want to go back there. You know what it's like there. You figure if you did it once, you could do it again. Knowing that you aren't there can't help but cheapen, at least a little bit, where you are.
Those who can keep and sustain love with another are special, lucky people. Of course love can be, and often is, defined differently with each person. I've broken bread with couples that are clearly in love, seem to listen to and respect one another, support each other and nurture each other. And still I left the table thinking, 'that's not what I'm looking for'. Which doesn't mean I don't long for each and every one of those characteristics I've listed. I do. My radar simply detected a little too much effort; a couple that was trying too hard to appear to be in love. There was a disingenuous flavor, and it set off my alarms.
Cynical? Maybe. Skeptical? Certainly. Idealistic? Absolutely. Of those three mindsets, the first two were born from the slow death of the third over the course of my life. I still pursue my ideals, but back in my twenties, that pursuit often got into high gear, breaking the speed limit. Now I stay at a more comfortable, safe cruising speed, not dead set on reaching my destination, just enjoying the journey a bit more.
So where did Spider Woman come from? Who the hell knows? She spun a web and I got caught in it, and I am grateful as hell. I was so unsuspecting that she still teases me about how clueless I was to her seduction.
I am drawn to her because of that aggressiveness, and her unflinching pursuit of what she wants. I'm also grateful that pursuit came through my little life and has enlarged it tenfold.
So I've developed this lovely little habit of taking nocturnal walks in the dead of night, when Greenwich Village is quiet, save for the transvestites and street people. The air is always crisp, the lights sporting no hazy halo around them, and I often sit on the steps of a walkup and scribble notes, so fertile is my mind with ideas.
I muse about my good fortune. I resolve to not fuck this one up. And I chuckle when I think that at any time, whenever I feel the urge, I can call up Spider Woman and she will come scaling down a building to see me.
Once again, I am a Cock ruling the roost. Love is back, baby!