Is this what they call Love?

I was feeling particularly like this one day, and sat there dejectedly sad and minding my own business. But before I knew it, my space was invaded by none other than the nuisance called Eugene ‘ who befittingly has a large nose, which at this point was poked into my business. “Why are you sad?” inquired the intrusive one. “Oh, I know why”, the fool continued, not caring to be giving an answer to their own question. “You are lonely . . . sad, because you long for love”, whatever the guy was going on about, I begin to get lost. “Okay the dreamy look in your eyes tells of a person longing for affection. There is no need to say it”. I was swept off my feet, literally with one arm nudged under my armpit followed by a great shove that got me standing when I least expected it. And to think being a little shaky artist, probably under nourished, the force got me almost staggering from side to side. “Now get a hold of yourself”, Eugene steadied me against the wall. “You don’t have to be a puppy in love”. I felt insulted. And to think that I couldn’t even talk made me feel like a cucumber or a rotting onion. “And who is this lucky person?” Eugene couldn’t stop torturing me. Now that chubby face was almost digging into mine, searching for answers. Just then through the window, I could see right through to the outside sink ‘ where a catchy tune was being whistled beautifully. At that moment it did not occur to me who was whistling the tune ‘ just the sight of someone else other than Eugene, was the tonic I needed. I found myself staring. Then I felt Eugene’s eyes following my gaze, and consequently landing on the subject of my fixed stare. Without looking, I could feel that naughty smile forming on that prickly face. Then at an incredible speed, coupled with typical high school excitement, the motor mouth was set rolling. “Oh, you dare-little-devil, you have fallen for your landlord’s very own! It’s a big catch if you ask me. I can never stop admiring you artists ‘ never. You always aim high, no matter your low status and the fact that the world literally cannot tell between you guys and . . . say . . . a box of matches”. That stung. My mind pondered on it in spite of the events taking place that were overtaking me. How could anyone say that, unless they were just some idiot speaking on their own behalf, because as far as I am concerned the world is lucky to have artists? And I know the world respects artists . . . well in some parts anyway. One might argue about that in these parts but I know our time to shine is coming ‘ remember good things come to those who wait. And the matchbox bit . . . well what would the world be without matches to light up a fire to bring light to our dark existence . . . to light up a fire to light our hearts with love . . . with love? That box of matches lights up our very lives. “I can go and put in a word or two for you ‘ a good word”, Eugene offered, already reaching for the door. “NO!” At last I was able to say something. Everything seemed to freeze at that moment. My ‘no’ seemed to be echoing in the room . . . ‘No! No! No!’ Eugene stopped dead by the doorway, looking at me as if petrified. It was a bit of a confused look, which confused me because I started to wonder why Eugene would be confused when I was the one in the catch 22 situation. “No?” Eugene repeated, carefully, moving slowly towards me. That face was being shoved back into mine again ‘ only this time it began to suffocate me, filling my immediate frame of sight. “No!” I thundered again quite affirmatively. I was sure the little conniving mortal’s mind was boggled. “Well, I find you sitting herewith your head in your hands between your legs desperately longing for attention ‘ which is normal ‘ and I . . . or you, gather the guts to point out to me, the target of you want for relief . . .” “NO!” I don’t know why I was beginning to sound desperate. Eugene was just being difficult. And why he was using this . . . strange language on me, I don’t know. I was getting disgusted. “Its okay to develop cold feet . . . especially when its your . . . err . . . first time. Tell me, is it . . . or rather, will it ‘ if all goes well today ‘ be your first time to have a lover?” Eugene! Eugene! The manner in which the idiot always finds freedom of speech . . . not even aware that there could be no such freedom after the said speech. Well I am aware of the fact that I have never been lucky in love. Or rather have been unlucky never to be in love. I remember growing up . . . I think around fifteen or sixteen, when started feeling my hormones racing in me. Suddenly the ‘class geek’ we all teased ‘ whom no one dared to ask out ‘ started to look lookable in my eyes. The gape-toothed smile became stylish. The dimples on those soft cheeks were classic. I was in love, no doubt. But I couldn’t bring myself to say it. I remember confiding in some Eugene-like bastard who threatened to tell for me. We had a big fight ‘ I wanted to preserve my fantasy. The fool told anyway. You can imagine the trouble I found myself in . . . headmaster and all. Eugene’s inflated face was still in my face. With the corner of my eye I could see through the window, right through to the sink, where the unassuming offspring of my landlord was oblivious to the goings on in this room I have rented ‘ loyally ‘ for years now. Could this be love? I must thought aloud because Eugene repeated after me; “Is this love?” I felt like I was being yelled at. How was I supposed to know? According to Eugene . . . . and in his words; “Judging by the look on your face, and the mist in your eyes, your body language and soul ‘ This is love!” How the guy could suddenly see through my body and soul, I couldn’t figure out. “I am going out there . . . to finalize this matter once and for all” My God. Why Eugene? I meant to ask but the words failed me. I just made for a beeline and slammed the door before Eugene could waltz out. “What!” Eugene yelled, getting angry. “What is wrong with you? What is wrong with . . .” The name escaped ‘ all fingers pointing in the direction of the sink. It had always been a problem with Eugene; once the temper got in, the memory moved out. “Nothing is wrong . . . not with, or anyone for that matter” yet deep inside I was feeling as if everything was wrong with me. Here I am old enough to be married, yet there’s still zero in my romance department. I know I have prayed and prayed . . . and waited and waited for something to happen. And I don’t want to believe ‘ much as I know that good things come to those who wait ‘ that I have waited too long. Sometimes they say when the Lord takes too long to answer our prayers, we should just read that the answer is no. “I don’t even know why I am bothering. This is your problem. I have my life . . . and my love” Eugene resigned. I seemed to lose my vision because I only heard the door open and shut. Then when the mist dissolved from my eyes, indeed Eugene was gone from my single room. I peeped though the window, right through to the sink, and in a dream-like sequence, WHAT DID I SEE? Eugene talking to . . . you know who. And all the time pointing in the direction of the room used, as lodgings for years and years by . . . you know whom. I froze. Then suddenly, gracefully and ‘ to me ‘ intimidating, you-know-whom started moving, in the direction of my room. My heart was pounding so hard it bounced off in my mouth and I felt like vomiting it out. ‘Is this love? Is this love?’ Knock! Knock! On my door . . . I almost jumped out of my skin. For some reason ‘ yet I knew perfectly well who was knocking at my door and because I think I was going through one of those periods in one’s life when events overtake one’s self ‘ I heard myself ask, unnecessarily aloud; ‘Who is it?’

May 2006
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