"I'm gonna lock my heart and throw away the key..."
I'm a tireless Romantic and if you are my friend and not a poet, artist or haven't recently dropped LSD, you may roll your eyes on many occasions at some of the shit I come out with. To me, everything (except celery and kohl rabi) is wondrous...the alien jelly clinging to an ingrown hair, the behaviour of saliva a glass of water, the shattered crust beneath my laptop keyboard. Although I do have violent reactions to things to which others pay no mind (like, seeing vegetables cut in a haphazard way upsets me deeply), my experiences are pierced by a pastel-coloured joyful amygdala that believes, no... knows! that the One exists and will come one day. I am stupid enough to even take reassurance from a friend who tells me Barbra Streisand's true love was revealed when she reached 59. I don't Google this. I don't need to because I am busy waiting for Love and it is on its way....in a gilded carriage, smelling of red roses, holding hands across the bridges of Paris. Until that bridge collapses and everyone dies.
"and if I never fall in love again, that's soon enough for me"
At least, that would have been the fatal outcome of a bridge in Paris if Parisian health and safety officials (does it depress anyone else that Paris has health and safety?) hadn't removed the padlocks people have placed their for decades as symbols of their enduring love. 45 tonnes of eternity, unbuckled. The amorous culprits obviously hadn't attended the University of Manchester's day of lectures on polyamory.
I admit - as soon as I saw the word 'love' in the title of the seminar (I may have even invented that when I saw something vaguely resembling 'amour') I booked my ticket and tried to drag my stone-cold hearted harem of friends along to much protesting...mostly related to visions of cultish conversion horror. Repent, Monogam! Repent! So on this dreary Sunday morning, church-like, dressed in a chunky cable knit sweater, my Royal Navy jacket and with fruity linseed muesli in tow, I headed in. Be sure - I am not lonely or unfulfilled in my life. I just believe strongly that we are meant to share our life with a special someone. And not many people know that if I were offered a proposal, I would say yes without hesitation. It is these Hollywood hey-day thought spectres that sometimes (often) guide my actions thanks to the likes of images below.
|"Swimmers" Diptych, 1962, Roy Lichtenstein|
The event reception was strangely glorious, if a little surreal and unexpected, as it strayed significantly from the stiff academic tone of the invite - Gloria Gaynor, Dusty Springfield and Aretha almost boomed from the tannoy as clangs (or is it throngs?) of people stayed close to friends in case the event was just a front for high brow swinging...and then a Volunteer made a peculiar exulted boast about how everything EVERY thing from the complimentary tea and coffee counter was DISPOSABLE. Hell, yeah! The poor thing collapsed when every blue, green and pink-haired attendee, clad in rainbow colours, shrunk in horror and gestured towards the recycling bins. Never has the first 7 minutes of an event failed to prompt a fantasy swift departure. Oh, is this not the Church service?...
Religion has a thick history of enchanting and bothering people in equal measure. My family were no exception. In fact a band of besuited individuals once materialised at our front door as they had heard, or sensed - I don't remember which - that someone in the household had strayed from the flock (their words). It's in those moments that only a Custard / Gillette cream Pie launched in the visage would suffice as an appropriate response.
As Methodists, my sister and I came off slightly easier with our weekly trip to church which of course neither of us could appreciate until later. Methodists are fair and sweet and soft looking. We even had a female minister with cherubic curls. I blame their philosophy for an affliction to be the voice of reason and justice, no matter how small the slight. I was even determined that no-one in that church be deceived during Communion by the blood of Christ - it was bloody Morrisons Taste The Best Forest Fruit juice. No-one cared.
What the fluff has this got to do with anything? I don't know, so back to the matter in hand. Padlocks. Bridges. Colossal mess. Polyamory. Love. After almost 6 hours of lectures, my brain melted and now spells out this sticky grey wisdom for you all to paddle around in until The One calls (wait by the phone for him/her because it's just such a great image). Love is ANYTHING you want it to be. Literally. Make it your mission to fall in love with anything that tickles your fancy - a cookie, a door,a wig, a pineapple, a laptop, a vegetable. Maybe be generous and extend that to a human being. It's almost the 22nd Century so no-one gives a shit. The End. I do?