I squandered my youth searching for love.
Investiture in butch waxed duck tails,
penny loafers, skinny belts, unused condoms,
and a truck load of Juicy Fruit gum.
Rock ‘n roll songs guided our choices.
Elvis and Do-Wop instructed us in love.
Between the Dairy Queen, King Kone, and the
Lion gas station was the promised land. Fifteen cents
a gallon for regular, nickel popcorn, twenty-five cent
Ritz movies, and fifty-cents for a hamburger. What
does this have to do with love, everything. It was
where you cruised to meet your bobby socks Venus.
Love is a learned habit structured by teenage
passion, Teen Town, the Baptist preacher sermon
on Sunday, and a pimple faced young man’s ability
to court. Expectations are high from all those that have
molded your view of beehives, petticoats and falsies.
Love is camouflaged in giggles and ponytails.
It should be noted that at this age there
is no logical definition for love, no
rustic ancient veneration of poetic
expression that surmounts that other four
letter word, lust. The buffaloes are
stampeding, the hormonal hounds are loose.
I remember the first time that magical word
escaped my lips. There was a sweaty pause in
the Old Spice and Evening in Paris scented night,
two wads of gum stuck to the dashboard, the
word hanging there glistening like a dew studded
spiderweb in which you are now trapped.
Growing older allows time to mellow your
reflection on the past choosing practicality
over emotional calamity. The lust is gone, so
is the gum. No minister, pimples or expectations.
Gas is $2.87 a gallon, a burger with fries $5.00.
Now the buffalo are disappearing, the hounds won’t hunt.
Love is the comfort of familiarity, trust, a history,
growing toward middle ground, hoping that you will
wake up in the morning, alive. Love is bringing her
a cup of coffee in bed, a tender smile, a warm touch,
the reassurance that you are needed. Still finding joy
in that glistening dew studded web that gave you wings.
Ahh love! It endures no matter what age, just changed.
© 2010, Donald Harbour