Canyon Fodder
Aspects of Love
By Joe Dinki
Feb 1, 2003 - 3:31:00 PM

Soon it will be Valentine's Day -- a celebration of love that promises to infuse our landscape with throbbing heart balloons, little pink candies with "Hug Me" written on them and those neat little Valentine cards that children give to each other, the ones with the red felt highlights, the ones that tell each and every person on the planet that love or the possibility of love, from a parent, from a friend, from anyone, is a gift to be cherished.

                If only we knew what love really is.

                Why love really is?

                I do not have the answers. To me, love is an ephemeral sense of belonging, a wonderful  figment of our imaginations, a haunting  imprint on our psyches that within a lasting impression can leave a trail of where it has been in our lives. These are the aspects of love, the shimmering facets of time, place and circumstance that are cut and inlayed upon the jewel at the heart of what we think love to be.

                Here are few aspects of modern love that mean so much to me.

                Multiplex Love. I'm on a date in the middle of a love affair; the summer air is thick with nature's sweet perfume in the multiplex parking lot as we prepare to take in this year's blockbuster. We're in love, how do I know? Because the movie stinks yet everything about it, the color, the soundtrack, the popcorn, is perfect. We are in love, where the diversity of our singular personalities, divergent pasts and present predilections find a mutual focus in film fantasy and escapism.

                Super Bowl Love. We're home for Super Sunday; it's cold outside. You bring me beer, chips and chicken wings and leave me to my testosterone-driven fantasies of a male dominated tribal society. You watch the commercials and the half-time show. It's not about football or glitz and glamour, it's about both of us feeling connected to a bigger brighter more optimistic American experience and yes, in a strange way, each other.

                That New Car Smell of Love.  Love is the renewal of your dreams, like a new car, freshly minted and waiting for you in the dealer's parking lot; a vehicle behind whose wheel you will be taken to new and wonderful destinations. Take a deep breath, breathe it in, check your look in the rearview mirror, you're beaming.

                Office Park Love. He's stuck in traffic heading towards his job in Office Park America. He's  wearing a white shirt, he has a cubicle awaiting him where he has his office routine: coffee from the 7/11, newspaper and a bathroom break at eleven. But he's happy because all this routine, all this bad lighting and politics you have to endure has made him search out the love of another human being, if only to soften and frame this mundane world into a bearable existence.

                Downtown Love. I love you and you love me because we are still in our twenties and wear the same black leather jacket everywhere we go, in all kinds of weather and share the same disdain for people with kids.

                Here's some other aspects of love.

                Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts love. You are middle-aged and occupy a world of cozy little Brownstones in Georgetown, pithy and interesting friends, strategically placed comb-overs and Barry Manilow records from the 70's. Oh, yes, all your single male friends look like George Will.

        Bourgeois Love. It's the love you've read about in novels, seen on TV or experienced at the movies but never actually touched because it's been kept out of reach by the media who prefer to ensconce it within the framework of a commercial.

       Internet Love. You can express the real you while you pretend to be someone else in a chat room. You fall in love with the idea of someone else -- not the soul of someone else.

                Real Love. Is there such a thing? Yes. It comes when you accept your validity as an individual free from outside restraint and requirements, false aesthetics and unfounded fears. A love that is given unconditionally, given freely and given often without expecting anything in return, yet it returns two-fold every time you give it. That's just how the universe works.         

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