A New Friend

I. I had a friend who said that it’s the chemistry, and if it happens it happens. And I know she should have known because she told me she was making love to a man she was very fond of, but the chemistry wasn’t there. What was she to do when she needed it too? Forget about him? We are such sophisticated loners. As lovers almost anyone will do. II. It happens, out of nowhere, and I waste my time in wonder, that she isn’t a pretty woman, that she’s older than me and so on. But it makes no difference; I love her anyway. This simple fact astounds me perhaps more deeply than the love itself. But how can I be sure of it, not knowing where it came from? Some chemistry? some reach of faith? I tell you I don’t know, although I’m happy now, wondering how I could ever be happy with her. III. My many hours away from her are spent in senseless dreaming of all the wonderful advantages that I’ve never taken from her. We meet, and she never knows it. We kiss, and she never feels my face; make love, rise in the morning, and go our ways, and she never is the wiser. But she’s as smart as the intellect of my intellect, as sensitive as the imaginary skin of a baby she imagines, and as willing as a wind upon a breeze. How could I despise this love so lonely, as lonely as I am, or any love, a shadow upon the desert of no shadows?

19 December 1975