Memoirs of Love ~ Ramblings of an Old Man
I am aged and my days have long past. Yet I remember the days of old; the day of happiness and joy; the days of the sun. Do not ask me to reveal my name; I shall not. Do not ask me how old I am; I am embarrassed to say. What you may ask me is to describe the hidden world that lives within my heart. That I shall speak of with joy. And if you do not ask such, then I shall tell you anyway. For it is that and only that which keeps me alive now, and is the only essence of happiness that I have. Look upon me and you will see a grey man as old as time itself. Look into my heart and you will see a young rose sprouting up and growing strong in all that is beauty and glory. And that rose was planted not on my own accord, but by the girl whom I loved so dearly. We planted it together, yes; the very foundations of it.
It is not important how I met her. No, not at all. You see, people can meet in a number of ways. They can meet on the bus, they can be neighbours, probably one day in the shop, at school, maybe they bumped into each other by accident; it couldn't matter less. And for that same reason her name does not matter either. Well yes, it matters to me. It matters to me a whole lot. It fact, it is one of the most important thing that exists in my world. But to you, it would mean nothing. You can't learn about someone from their name so you see my point. I am probably sounding like an ignorant old man. It does not help if that is what you perceived me to be in the first place, I know.
But who she was, this I must tell you. We met when we were quite young in our days; youthful and bright. And she was only slightly younger than me, by just one year. She wasn't mixed race or anything like that. But pure in race; pure and beautiful. She was a simple girl. She didn't have many skills, but when you made her happy she would smile. And when she did that you would swear that that was what she had been practising her entire life. Her smile had the power to light up a gloomy day in its natural glow. It was one of a movie star. She was not a movie star of course, and far from being one. But she was a star in my eyes, and when I saw her nothing else mattered.
My girl, she was a natural beauty to behold. Her hair was long and dark. When she loosened it in the wind and allowed it to flow, many times I became weak. It was such a spellbinding sight to behold such wonder, and I - did I deserve to be in the presence of this? Surely it was something to behold that I did not deserve! And as if that wasn't enough, her natural lingering fragrance melted me. What spell is this; the scent of my girl, the aura that lifted from the natural oils produced by her body. Namely her hair and neck, yes – her scent was that of perfection, something no man could ever conjure up in a shampoo product. I'd laugh if they even thought of trying! No one could mimic the scent of my girl. No, she was perfect.
I remember when I touched her, how we melted together and became one. My girl; her skin was soft and smooth, her eyes were delicate gentle things of innocence and her voice was filled with compassion. She worried a lot. She worried of many things and her heart was often troubled. Often times I remember she put on a tough armour just to protect herself from the troubled situations that she faced. She seemed mean many times; my girl. But I didn't mind. I knew her. I loved her. With her I had patience. I didn't mind what she told me. I saw through that armour and peered into the tender, troubled heart that was there. Whoever she was, whatever she was, I accepted her. Simply because she was my girl.
I remember once we were sitting quietly. She told me that she was afraid, and she told me what it was that she was afraid of. She explained to me all of her fears - silly little things she knew, and more philosophical ones as well. I listened to everything she had to say. In the end I told her not to be afraid. I held her close and stroked her hair. I smiled at her and gently kissed her on her forehead. She took a deep breath and settled into me where I held her. She told me that she didn't believe me. I told her that it was okay; she didn't have to.
My girl was very playful; a very active individual she was. And her body was amazingly beautiful; attractive, and held the very definition of feminine. Her torso was slender, and her hips were wide and lovely. Her legs were long and fair. Her bosom was small and tender; beautiful upon her body. And her neck was nothing short of kissable. She was a pleasure to be with. When I hugged her, everything in the world that was wrong suddenly became right. And when I kissed her everything that was right in the world became perfect and divine. I told her this once and she told me that she felt the same way. She was just too shy to say. But she reasoned that maybe things remained exactly as they were. That it was only our love tricking us into thinking that the world became perfect as our love was. I found this hard to believe. I always enjoyed the notion of magic and was hoping that maybe the magic of our love was doing something good for the rest of the world. I argued that maybe every time I hugged her a homeless would find shelter, and every time I kissed her a starving child would be fed. She said that maybe it's all in my head. I said that she was probably right.
I enjoyed talking long silent walks with my girl. Orange sunsets along the cold, purple waters long drowned in bitter salt set timeless and precious memories for us. The cold wind blew and we shivered. Yes, even I. But I would never admit that I was cold although I suspected that she realised because of my obvious goosebumps. Every time the wind blasted us she would pull me tightly against her to absorb what little body heat I produced. I asked her if it helped to keep her warm and she said it did. I never believed her but I let her win anyway. I guess there were some things that she would never admit either. But when I heard tiny gasps escape her lips and her breathing became heavy, I knew that she had had enough and that it was time to take her home.
I proposed to my girl on that very beach one late afternoon because it was filled with precious memories of us, and I wanted to add one more to it. I will admit that I am quite an old fashioned man but those were old fashioned days. My proposal was therefore quite classical in the very least – at least. Down on one knee, took her hand, presented the ring, you know the drill. When I popped the question she was speechless. Tears trickled down her tender cheeks and she was smiling. In my best male knowledge I assumed then that she was saying yes. I kissed her then in a tight embrace, as I have done many times past. But somehow, this time it was a bit different. Somehow it felt just a little more real. And I enjoyed every second of it.
Over the course of our lives there were many more memorable things that happened that I can relate to you; many more experiences I could share. Like everyone else we had both bright and dark days through the decades. It was always just my girl and I against the world. Our love brought us through to the end of time and that was all we really ever needed. Although being exposed to the corrosive nature of time aged her dearly, somehow she always remained young and youthful in my eyes. Even a few years back when she finally laid to rest, she looked as beautiful as ever. To me her hair was still long and luscious, and her skin was still fresh and smooth. She even seemed to still be filled with energy and the life of youth.
And to tell you the truth, I am looking forward to the day when I will see her again. I know she will be as how I have always envisioned her because she will no more be subject to the disease of time. We will embrace each other and share a passionate kiss as we have always done. I will tell her how happy I am to be with her again because she is my girl and she forever will be. And I know that she will respond with tears as she always has; tears that reflect a minute ocean of joy in a sense that never was, but forever will be.
D. S. Eden
This piece was written for Valentine's Day in 2010, and was made into a short film in the months that followed. It was first screened at the Film Cabaret event at Contact Theatre in Greater Manchester, England.