Someone once wrote that regardless of if it is love at first sight, or a pre-existing affectionate relationship that suddenly sparks a flame, there is that distinguished moment when one falls in love.
It doesn’t need to be the same instance for both parties; in fact it rarely is. But that moment, which is a brief flash, exists, always. Maybe it was the split of a second when the setting sun set fire to her hair, or the way he smiled at her and the angels started to sing; it can be how she wiped her mouth after licking ice-cream on a hot summer day, or a certain tone his voice took that was both authoritative and shy, inviting and pleading. That brief yet telling moment is a picture that the mind holds to as a mental snapshot; one that cannot be erased even if one tries.
My snapshot was taken somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty years ago, in a training base of the Israeli navy in Haifa. Though I do not remember the date I recall even the smallest of detail. It is no wonder as that photo is etched deep into my memory. My wife to be, a new recruit, came out of the women’s dormitories to see me. We were strangers. I was sent by an acquaintance of mine, whose cousin she was, to check on her that she is okay, being that it was her first day at base and he was unable to make it. Her long brown hair was just washed, and as she stepped out of the lobby to the place where I was waiting, she bent forward, allowing her hair to fall over so she may then, in one swift move, pull it back and collect it with a hair tie. I didn’t know her. But click, snap, that was the moment. Cupid had done his dirty little deed.
Over the years I occasionally take out that old wrinkled photo and look at it. Especially when it is either shiny bright or pitch dark in our relationship. I am not a believer in eternal love. Society had tried to condition us for swans’ love, for a monogamous pairing for life. While this may work for some — a minority in my opinion, for many others this notion is a myth; one they want to believe in and thus pay by much pain, aggravation and guilt. Yet, I am still with my wife, all these years, and, no less, of my own choice. It is just that, on occasion, I fall out of love and then in love with her all over again. And I came to realize it is okay, it is natural. In fact, I am quite aware she doesn’t always love me (even if she says she does,) and that is absolutely fine. If she did (be constantly in-love,) I would have suspected her of not being human.
During those times this first snapshot comes in handy. It doesn’t always work but when I am ready to throw it all away, walk out, call it a day, I pull out that old mental image. On occasion I wish I could have torn it apart, erase it, but I cannot. It is the nature of the beast. I cannot even look away. It is there. And then, slowly, if my wife is not around to drive me over the cliff, my heart warms up again. Like magic, which is probably what this is. Damn Cupid.
Learned from: a photo at my mental album.