The Good news about rom-coms is that Hollywood (and occasionally Paris, Lisbon and Madrid, but never Berlin) crank them out endlessly, and each contains that grain or two of truth, like salt rubbed in the wound of a failed first marriage, and the balm of the discovery of true and abiding love. The small pail of rom-com truths is easily carried, sometimes off a too strong wind, but it is never enough to build a dune to hold back the waves of emotion that attend the most fragile and passionate of all human relationships. Yet we sit, smile, and watch hoping that this one’s grain is the one that tips the scale ever so slowly in our favor.
She says every woman should own a little black dress, and during the time she tries them on I am thinking what she meant was every man should be married to and in love with a woman who wears a little black dress as well as she does, but I say It looks really nice on you, You should buy it, and I think, I will find events to which you can where it frequently, because it looks so good on you, and you in that little black dress make me look so good standing next to you, and men, although they will never admit it, are all so often about reflected glory.
What I want to tell her is this: it’s fitting, perfectly, that you who so assiduously hid the past from me, your past and mine, now bars your entry, refusing you even the briefest glimpse. You want so to grab onto it to have it carry you to a place removed from here by time and distance, where it is warm and most of the time, cozy. It is also fitting that you call out his name, as though he was in the yard pruning a tree, delaying dinner, the same he you cursed glad to have him out of your life and out of your house, you wished him dead so that you might call yourself a widow and share condolences with the other black draped women. You never mentioned the six months of foster care or the little sister who came and went so quickly when he had the audacity to drop dead on you one morning. This is what I would say to her, this is the curse I would place upon her but she no longer recognizes me, I am no more than a well dressed orderly come to remove her lunch tray.
He says, “it’s like learning to walk again after you’ve had a stroke, you know you can but nothing seems to work quite right when you try.”
She says, “you just upgrading from one model iPhone to the newer model, so don’t overplay it, it isn’t a matter of life itself you know. And if you didn’t need the newest and latest you wouldn’t have this problem would you?”
He says, “You’re right to that extent, but think if I didn’t need the newest and latest I’d hardly be a male of my species, so be thankful i’m having these problems. Anyway, i think i have it now, finally.”
She says, “why didn’t you answer when I called? You said you had the phone figure out, so turn around and go get the milk and butter, Sorry about the rain, it was sunny when I called as you are leaving the office for here.”
It’s the little things, she says, that bite you, and while he truly doesn’t want to believe this, for it ought to be the big things that cause the problems, he knows she is right. He recalls that a simple thing like an address everyone knows is 123 3 X Street is true for all save the power company which says it is still 98 Y Street, although they cannot hope to explain why this is so. How many other addresses for this place are there, how many things go wrong because someone wants it to be this while everyone else assumes that. So you sit and wait for the power company to bring light into your world and warmth into your life with winter closing in rapidly.
He says “the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line.” She says, “you will miss seeing of the amazing sights if you follow that inane rule, and by the way Einstein made it quite clear space is curved, and the line you think straight is not at all, so why not follow a more varied curve and see what there is to see along the way. It might surprise you.” He says, “I have to follow the road and the interstates are the most direct routes.” She says, “there are an infinite number ways to get from point A to B.” She wants to try several of them and if he doesn’t like it, well there is always the back seat.