“ My heart is broken.” I replied when the clerk at the health food store asked, “How are you? “
Certainly this girl of the two colored, two extremely different lengths of hair could not care about the health of my heart, and there were no herbal supplements to tend to such things.
I had already confessed to her that I was a thief and had stolen handfuls of macadamia nuts. I would have purchased some but they tasted so splendid that I feared I would consume them all. So I allowed fate to temper my appetites.
Fate though had not tempered my appetite for my cello player, the one who accidently broke my heart. The relationship had an element of the divine, or the obsessed. On that humid Sunday when I saw him sitting in church all reverential, he was bookended between his gangly orphan sons. While my mind should have been on God his overgrown curly hair and eyes that seemed downcast from the size of them distracted me.
I announced to the seatmate soprano, “I shall date him”. (Sopranos carry the melody line so really they have little work to do in a choir therefore they may extol the charms of the praying congregants.) “Crazy”, she replied”, crazy he has two boys to raise.”
Now I am not only enchanted but the gauntlet is laid,
I would be crazy.
Indeed I was, but not just by my own design. Odd things, the fates were would thrust us together, the tinkling bell on the bike path was him coming upon me as I labored uphill, the tickets I won to the symphony where he played the cello were all celestial interventions of God’s design for my life. I could hear the call.
His lips, post symphony all dressed in a tuxedo were my first to kiss me post divorce. Surely it was designed by God that this man and I be together. Sometimes like song lyric he creeped into my sleep via a dream, like an apparition would seek me after months of quiet would phone and just want to pop by.
The problem was God was speaking to me alone. Or lust was speaking to me, or loneliness. Perhaps it was resounding empty, or the fact that he quoted to me in Italian the first lines of Dante’s Divine Comedies. I was besotted.
Yet God was silent to my cello player. Or at least God was sending him a different message than he was giving me. Or God only spoke to him on my regard rarely, only on long summer nights when the breezes urged us to stay alert. Every now and then my cello players would tell his boys he was going to fuel up his tank and once out he would call me. We would drink beer and stoke fires in the pit, and circle around truth and dabble in our chemistry and then push aside.
We would speak of the Catholic mystics, God, and children. One day he forget fear, he kissed me all carnal. Before he had a chance to repent I inquired, “ Do you come to see me to remember or to forget? “
“To remember”, he says. As he drove away I knew that the prince had awoken the princess, and the princess had awoken the prince. I knew that on that night under the fade of urban stars, my prince would go poof.
The fairy tale ends with the kiss and happily ever after. If one has ever had a kiss, a mythic kiss, the ever after is the sweet memory.
To be the first women to be kissed by him after his wife’s passing, or me with my first post divorce kiss coming from a troubadour had an element of the divine.
It is a soul balm to have a holy kiss.
Yet on that spring Saturday when I heard tell of his tuxedoed self-playing at a function with his date I got all churned up. His date was much discussed in the voyeuristic way that women have of looking at loves allure, hoping for contagion. Hearing of his date a dowager “friends of the symphony” sorts (my mind movie) I was troubled that after so long I was jealous. I put the radio on scan needing a sound track to help me spill my tears.
I wanted to hear Capriccio Espagnol, the song that I he was performing when I won the symphony tickets. I wanted to grieve that which I never had, but longed for.
Instead only noise, tears stuck, I stopped in the grocer’s. Jackleen, the clerk, (her badge stealing her anonymity) when I tell of my broken heart asks if I have told him of my love.
By her sweet question she is now captive to my narrative. She hears of the late night love letter extolling his virtues, the kiss by the post it note we where I had inscribed his name reminding me to pray that my obsessions be lifted. The glow from the stained glass window enveloped his frame. Of how his wife had once been a soprano, sat in the same choir seat as I and had been eulogized from the seam incandescent sanctuary.
Sweet Jackleen, herself a musician gave me her listening heart, a greater gift than any soundtrack on my cheap car stereo.
Emboldened by my naked love she tells me of her love for a musician who is now in Nashville. How only he understood the art of her heart. Jaclyn the harp-strumming vocalist who spends her life in pursuit of celestial song is besotted by this far away love.
Have you told your love, your crush of your heart’s longings?” I ask. We are in communion this young girl and I, sisters of the heart.
Give him a poem.
I rustle my goods into my plastic bag, discard my receipt. My footing if off. As the door swing open she calls in goodbye” My life is forever changed because of you”. I had not anticipated that my own longing heart but boldness in love might be some one else’s angel.
Collette Cullen 2012