It’s happening, like the blasted lyrics of a song best suited for the carefree, sunshine-licked days of summer. The world has shifted into a more vibrant kaleidoscope of colours, the daffodils and tulips are standing taller and there’s promise on the breeze.
We hurry love and then beg for it to slow. The past, present and future collide all at once in a smear of faces and places, hellos and goodbyes. My internal emotional road crew holds up a CAUTION sign. The present leaves my heart so big and rapid-beating that I can barely contain it in my rib cage. The future beckons with all that is hopeful. GO! GO!
Then the prophetic signs emerge. I find them on the subway, in peculiar coincidences and in conversations I rehash in my mind while running. I was to meet a copper-skinned woman. I was told my answers would be found in Guatemala.
A month ago when a friend asked what I was looking for in a relationship, Michelle jumped in and answered for me. “Nothing.” And she was right. I didn’t need someone to complete me a la Jerry Maguire. I wasn’t looking for happiness that could only be secured in somebody else. A new love would be all the indulgent extras though, I was certain about that. It would be the accidental extra whip on the hot cocoa, the stolen hours of sleep on a Sunday morning and the bounce of feet in brand new running shoes taken for their first trail run.
But what was I hoping to find in a lover?
I will always have a soft spot for gals that can whistle, but not a tune. I mean those sharp blasts or the long whistles that ring in your ears at a football game or concert. The whistles that can make a cab or a runaway dog screech to a halt.
I wanted someone who was passionate about something, I wasn’t particular about what. Someone who read books—of any sort. And a lot. The person needed to be open to travel of all sorts, from posh hotels with infinity pools to African mud huts with fire pits to cook upon and hungry lions in the distance.
I’ve had stipulations in the past, but the only one that remains firm is absolutely no smoking. And, contrary to popular belief, I didn’t want another runner in the relationship, because I’m a loner-runner type. And if she had an affection for dancing or scuba diving? Cool, as long as I don’t have to participate.
In a vague but specific sense, I really wanted someone who could make me laugh on a daily, if not hourly basis. I wanted “nice,” which might come across as a flaky pre-requisite, but there are a lot of not-so-nice sorts out there with emotional baggage containing daggers and baseball bats for vendettas.
Most importantly? They had to like dogs for very obvious reasons, and an admiration for primates would definitely make them a shoo-in.
I didn’t want someone jaded and suspicious about love, I hoped for sugar and spice and everything nice. I was open to flaws and vulnerabilities, but confidence was a must-have. Wanted: Someone as bold as my coffee who I can bring home to my parents with no apologies or warnings. Isn’t this the true test? When we envision the Christmas dinner with the immediate family?
I’ve analyzed myself a lot in the nine months of my singleness (without the Bridget Jones penchant for cigarettes, chardonnay and croissants. Okay, maybe the chardonnay–). In my personal dissection, I routinely line-up all of my exes in a dangerous portrait of sorts and try to pinpoint the pattern of attraction and failure. A physical attraction pattern doesn’t exist which reinforces my awareness that I am attracted to souls. The longer I think about a failure pattern, the more I feel like I’m attempting the New York Times crossword puzzle. I have all the clues but can’t find the exact words. Lots of ideas come to mind, but nothing fits in the tidy boxes.
What I do know is that love and I are evolving. I want to be smarter about love this time, with a gentler approach, instead of my piñata-whacking attack of the past. Instead of being so insistent and particular about what I want, I need to articulate what I can offer.
I imagine sleepy mornings and cups of coffee and newspapers covering all available surface area. I think of eating pancakes with bed head, impossibly long walks without destination, movies where the plot is lost because I am consumed with the fever of her hand in mine. There will be flowers for no reason, champagne for every reason, secret and sacred musings spoken and written with urgency.
We will dream up distant ports of call, eat with the assumption that everything is an aphrodisiac and exist in a shared dizzy state of aligned stars. Under those very same stars I will be robbed of all rational thoughts.
And my emotional road crew will take a break.