Finding l.u.x.u.r.y in the little things (and smirking at all the r.e.s.t)

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's now a little past midnight, and I can't put my mind at ease. I'm feeling unsettled. A romantic movie that I had assumed would be heartwarming, actually proved to stir up an uncomfortable restlessness that lies more in my heart than in my head.

I watched The Break Up.

Throughout the entire movie, you see a couple so passionately in love with each other, so obvious to the rest of the world and to themselves as well...and both too stubborn to admit it. Their chemistry radiated from my laptop screen, as I layed in my bed, my white down comforter wrapped up underneath my chin, balled up in my hands. The entire movie you're rooting for them...their passion (there's just no better word at this point) is so inspiring, so alive. Alive with energy, with lust and with hate...but yet it's that rare combination that makes it such a powerful emotion.

Yet by the end of the movie, they go their separate ways...but meet up several years later on the street. Their passion is still so fresh--not remnants of what they had, but fresh flames of what they are. Who they are together. Undeniably raw.

And...they still both go their separate ways...

It broke my heart.

The movie got me thinking about love..why we fall into it, how we fall out of it, and why it has such a strong hold over us. I really think it's all about the human connection. Feelings so strong for another person that you truly feel connected--and underneath all of the bullshit, that's what it simmers down to. It's human nature to seek that connection--yes, we know it. But do we know HOW important it truly is to our lives? To the quality of each day we live, each moment we spend?

We Americans tend to be a cold, stiff breed when it comes to relationships, be it girl or boy. I notice that in my experience, others from different cultures are quick to express their feelings, quick to say I Love You, quick to share an embrace or show their salty tears...they are appreciative of the simple aesthetic nature of a man or a woman, and openly show their admiration for him/her....but underneath it all recognize the value of that individual human being. They are artsy. They are compassionate and volatile in their emotions.

I wonder...because they openly recognize the value of one another, are their connections stronger? They are no longer hidden, but praised. Does their sense of passion, then, become stronger because there is more of it, or weaker because it's so commonplace for such a variety of things?

In this respect, I consider myself to be highly un-American. As much of a front I may put up, or game I may play...I'm actually very compassionate, sensitive and naive in the sense that others will value our connection just as much as I. To evoke a smile, I simply have to think of a person I have met in one time and place or another...and how that person has positively impacted my life. And I will forever think of them fondly...I have such an affinity for keeping in touch. It's almost like a handicap in this culture.

I often think of Jose, my Spanish fling with whom I spent one glorious week gallavanting across London. We knew our time was limited, but that never stopped us from investing our emotional energy into that week. We were free, uninhibited and sexy... with the wind in our hair on those frost-bitten London nights, running like children through the damp, foggy streets and racing each other to the next black iron streetlamp that shone it's dim light through the cloud a block ahead. We would stop abruptly to catch our breath, colliding into each other and grabbing onto one another for dear life, swinging around in a circle with not a care in the world. And we would laugh and laugh and laugh. Laugh until our bellys hurt, and laugh with all of our being. Right there in that London street. We faced each other, looked into the other's eyes and simply let ourselves be...compltely uninhibited...laughing. I didn't care about the crooked shape my mouth takes when I really let loose and laugh, or how my nose runs when it's chilly outside. It didn't matter. None of it mattered. He kept on looking at me in the eyes, simply admiring and enjoying that exact moment in time. And I did the same. Until we raced to the next lamppost, winner having the task of buying another round of beers at our next pub stop.

And later that night, as I pranced in and out of consciousness before falling into a deep sleep, I felt him pull the blanket up over my shoulders, tucking it underneath my right bicep a bit. With his pointer finger, he gently reached for my cheek, softly moving a stray hair away from my face. He whispered, "Goodnight, nina." I felt him watch me for a time before falling into his own slumber. When I woke up hours later, his arm was draped protectively across my chest, his hand covering my own. I had never saw someone look so angelic in their sleep.

He was beautiful, and my time with him was beautiful. That is one connection that my mind will never allow me to forget, nor would I want to. That week is one of my memories in time that significantly adds to the quality of my life. Because I had a true connection with another that felt as if it could rock the entire world. It didn't matter that he was from Barcelona, or that he grew up with a complete different set of cultural values or tendencies. Our connection was not biased to the fact that our native languages were not the same, nor that we had different education levels.

And what really sets it in stone for me, is that he and I still keep in touch. We have no romantic plans, or even any plans at all. But the simple fact that I receive the occassional email from Jose in Barcelona, updating me on his life and inquiring about my own reinspires me each and every time. And the fact that in every one, he reminisces about the dinner we once shared in a small, intimate Spanish restaurant...shows me that connections are something very real. Something that needs to be valued and cherished...and held with such care up on the highest pedestal humanly possible...such a tender and precious thing... because each individual connection, forms a series of connections, which I believe to be the core of my soul, the core of my being...and the core of my inner happiness.

We could have easily forgotten about one another. We could have let two, three months slip by, like they sometime have, and never written another word to each other. We could have.

But we didn't.

And for that, I am grateful.

So thank-you, Jose for being a source of my inspiration and a driving force behind a happy memory that has made me smile so many more times than just on that plane ride home from London.

And thank-you, The Break Up, for really making me think a little bit.

To all the Joses in this world....



At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who the hell was the spanish guy and why did we have to hear baout it first on your blog.

At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Phil said...

that is some seriously deep shit ash...well done.

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Ash said...

Just so you all know...

that first comment was actually from a FRIEND who was busting m chops


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