Everyone has the story. The one about how ‘we’ met and how ‘we’ fell in love. Is it not interesting that you ‘fall’ in love? “Oops! Here I was just walking along and minding my own business, when suddenly I found myself plummeting toward you in a free fall.” Sometimes the bump softens your landing and sometimes it does not (as the intended turns a cold shoulder to your plight, “Sorry, I’m not good at catch,” they might have said as you tried to pick yourself up and dust yourself off–looking for bruising, checking for broken bones, adjusting your glasses and thinking to yourself, “I should be more careful next time,” but of course, you’re not.
Usually your own story is shaded by the sexual attraction between you and your partner; your contemporaries understand that and accept it, because they too are experiencing those same feelings and it’s not odd at all to think of your friends in love and having sex. (Is it? now that I’ve written that statement I fear that you, dear reader, will somehow be offended or find it slightly off, as you never consider your friends in sexual terms — and perhaps you are right, your experience may be entirely different than mine, but among my friends, and god knows, among my gay friends, there wasn’t much we didn’t discuss and sex was/is certainly a part of that conversation.)
But where all of us–I imagine–draw the line in this conversation–is thinking of our parents in sexual terms. That somehow their passionate life, their physical love is off-limits, so remote is the idea that they may have fucked (for that is what it is, after all, fucking) that we cannot even bring ourselves to consider the possibility–regardless of the evidence to the contrary (that would be you and any siblings, yes?). Did they fall out of bed making love? Were the sheets bunched up at the foot of the bed after a particularly passionate bout of love-making? Did they sweat? Cry? Laugh after orgasm, as one does?
I hope so. That’s what delights me so about the photo that started this little flow of words (ahem…), I hope their love-making was as intense and wonderful as some I’ve experienced. when I look at my mother staring so lovingly at my handsome father’s picture (he’s in uniform, BTW, just for that added bit of drama), sitting there in the garden almost drowning in flowers and grass and the bloom of love, I feel for her, I understand, I commiserate (over the separation), I murmur and sigh at her declarations and her longing and for the time being, her happiness.