Tuesday, January 12, 2010
No man is an island?
I was snooping around, as one does, in the profile of a new internet contact. I discovered that he is a successful artist and graphic designer. No jealousy there. 'Yay him!' I thought to myself and 'How interesting. Must find out more.' Which was when I discovered that he lives in Palma, Spain. Which I had never heard of, so I went, as one does when casually stalking someone, to google maps. And that is when jealousy bit me hard. You see, Palma is on the island of Mallorca, and Mallorca is smack in the middle of the Mediterranean. I always imagined that when I grew up I'd live overseas - somewhere sunny and warm and with access to an ocean. Not much to ask since I'd spent most of my childhood in precisely that kind of situation.
And then fate, with her wry sense of the absurd, intervened. I met and fell in love with a man who, despite being part French and speaking near-fluent French, wanted more than anything else to stay in America. I chose to ignore this, assuming that like a strange virus, it would pass with time and love. Then, when he was deciding what to be when he grew up, he asked me "Should I go to law school or grad school in art history?" To which I said, "Who needs the money and security that a career in law would give you? Go to grad school in art history young man. Follow your bliss, etc." And I thought to myself, 'He's part French. Mais biensure he'll choose French art. We can go to France, live in Paris for a while. Go to Aix where his family has a house which is not far from the coast....' Mais non, mes petits ! Oh la tristesse ! He said he wanted to go into American art "because I wouldn't have to travel or live overseas." This I was less able to ignore, but we were married by then so I was screwed.
Now, twenty-five years later, here I sit in the middle of America, a long long way from any coast, it's 21 degrees outside, and I haven't seen blue sky in God knows how long. So looking at the map of Palma, Spain, then looking out at the frozen tundra of my backyard, I had a weak moment of feeling this was not my plan! THAT was my plan!
Now, I do know that where you live physically is not really that pertinent to how you live emotionally. (And if I didn't know that, Willym would be sure to remind and or bitch slap me!) So I took a last longing look at the Mallorca - dotted with palm trees, surrounded by the shimmering Mediterranean - and closed the computer. Because, truly I know that when I stepped into the stream that was the beginning of my love for K, he became my island, and the life we've built together my coasts and oceans and sunny plazas. I really do know that.
I wonder if he'd be willing to wear a palm tree on his head once in a while?