Once upon a time ...I had a friend. A good friend. A friend who I loveded. He was sweet, sugar-pie sweet even. We had simple lives. Well, not really, but we were young(ish). I like to think we still are.
We game-played. Talked about life when you could do so from afar. When talking about life didn't need to occur in a scheduled sort of way. When life just went on or stopped, but it didn't matter cause you were still broke-ish and happy-ish. I think I was having a bohemian phase. I wear pearls now #deadedthat.
Anyway, yes. Friend. We shit-shot. Talked about love in that sappy sense, in the real sense. I made up a story about how my grandmother viewed love. It was really only half made up now that I think about it. And I learned it more through my cousin than through Nana. And heard it most (or internalized it through my very hard/very large head) only recently.
Love someone who loves you more than you love them.
So, you're reading this and headnodding. Perhaps you are on that #teamWTF status. It's cool. I'm there, in both places too.
But here is the story:
I advise said friend re: Nana's knowledge. He coos, coolly. I continue:
Well, my Nana used to say, if she could do it again, she'd let her heart choose someone who loved her more than she loved him.//Someone who didn't mind that she cursed like an unpolite sailor.// Who didn't find irony in that she was too educated (for a woman)// that she carried herself regally.// She had too little patience and too many kids.// She would choose this time to devote herself to a man unlike the man who became my grandfather.//She would let this man, this man that may or may not exist// love her profoundly, deeply, rushedly sometimes.// Maybe he'd be uneasily distracted. Too deep.// He'd be strong, stronger than her and his love would show up needingly.//
Crazy, right? Well, I continued:
He'd be a different man from Papa.//Perhaps none of us would be here because of it.// She wouldn't regret what she didn't know.// The lost devotion to a man less hungry than she needed him to be.// The lost pain of expectation that never occurred.// Or occurred infrequently at best.// The lost pain of being too tall, or too polite, or too everything, because at any given moment she was all of those things, and at any given moment,// she was not enough at all.
And so, I shared with my sweet friend with the soft heart and the sharp wit. If you fall in love, or walk, or tread into it, love someone who listens hungrily to your stories, even if they make her sad. Love someone who bends her ear and her back to your humor, even if, at times, she realizes the underlying pain your brand of humor embellishes. Love the woman who holds the razor as you shave your face clean as a young boy, even though she'll likely love your face older, more masculine, telling of your place as a man. And read from her actions as you can, what you can, when you can.
As for me, I want to grow older. Have few facial lines that aren't from laughter or sun. Maintain my posture. I want to smile at my child when I can. Chase her when I need to. Sometimes I'll curse. Sometimes I'll admit, I have too much education, too much pride, too little patience with people that aren't inclined to jazz, or heels, or incense.
And I want/like
I thank my mummah, my nana, and the divine for all this crazy shit, this good and bad fortune, this capacity to question, all of it.
Question: Do I have that kind of love? Am I like my own Nana in that I'd choose otherwise?