Thursday, April 7, 2011

Affairs of the Heart

The first time I fell in love, I was 12.

I was at summer camp and we had a counselor named Jan. She was a blond girl about 20 years old. Jan could swim like a fish, use a bow and arrow and hit a target, and had sort of protruding teeth that looked very sexy to me. I loved her and her funny teeth and boy haircut and slim tanned legs.

The second time I fell in love was when I saw my son for the first time. He was funny looking and had a long pointed head. He was pulled out of me with forceps and one had caught his eye and left it swollen shut. I had prayed for a son, and for just a moment I thought this child was god's way of punishing me for screaming in labor "if it's not a boy, you fucking keep the kid" to the nurses. If I had a girl, at least I could use cosmetics to make her look better. Fortunately, by the time we went home, he was pretty close to perfect. Even funny looking, I knew this child had changed me forever because I finally really understood what love was.

The next time I fell in love, it was when I first saw my daughter. She was perfect to begin with, and she's stayed that way.

It was about a year after my daughter's birth that I fell in love for the 4th time. I was in the hospital the day before surgery to remove my thyroid gland. A long-haired hippie doctor walked into the room and introduced himself to me with the most wonderful southern accent I had ever heard. He was 6'6" and the most amazing man I had ever met. He had long golden curls pushed into a pony tail. The good doctor and I became lovers and remained such for several years. He left me for a nurse. C'est la vie!

I loved all of my husbands at least for a time anyway. I still do love my current husband most of the time. (Yes, I hate him on occasion.)

The last time I fell in love was at the Oakland SPCA. I was looking at the dogs and saw a beautiful German Shepard mix named "Fern". She was the calmest dog in the whole place and she smiled at me when I walked up to her cage. I called my husband over and said "This is the one for me." Alex was unconvinced and thought that the dog looked like a pit bull. I was undeterred by his opinion. Whatever she was, she was mine for life.

We brought her home two days later. Since "Fern" is a goofy name, I renamed her "Honey" and that suits her much better. She's still not demonstrative in the slightest. She is not a tail wagger type of dog. To show affection, Honey pushes her body up against a person and leans her shoulder into them. It's enough.

Honey smells of warm musk. She has the most wonderful scent I have ever encountered from any man, woman, or child. She lays on the bathmat next to the tub when I am bathing and the smell that rises from her intoxicates me.

I am pretty certain I will fall in love again, and it's always such a wonderful surprise when it happens.

I may have even already done it.

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