I’ve been rereading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Actually, Jacob has been reading it to me before we go to bed. I’m enjoying the ritual to no end, for I’ve missed the sound of his voice coaxing my thoughts into my favorite places of dreamland…
However, three or four years back, I would have eye-gouged anyone senseless enough to put that book in front of my eyes. I hated the tale; was disgusted by the lies it promised. I wanted to murder the narrator for saying that “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true.” More than once, I found myself thinking, Either you [the narrator] are a lying sack of shit, or the universe is deaf and dumb. I’ve been wishing and wanting with all that I am and not getting a damn thing!
A few nights ago, I was lying in bed with my eyes closed, when Jacob read these lines:
“And now it was only four days before he would be back in that same village. He was excited, and at the same time uneasy: maybe the girl had already forgotten him. Lots of shepherds passed through, selling their wool.
‘It doesn’t matter,’ he said to his sheep, ‘I know other girls in other places.’
But in his heart he knew that it did matter. And he knew that shepherds, like seamen and like traveling salesmen, always found a town where there was someone who could make them forget the joys of carefree wandering.”
Jacob stopped after “wandering,” and we watched each other in silence for a long while…
The next day, as we shared our morning coffee, I said, “Remember last night, when you read that part about—”
“The shepherd wanting to pretend that he could be okay. That he didn’t need the girl to be himself,” Jacob finished the sentence for me. “I remember,” he said, “I was thinking about that while I watched you last night.”
I nodded, and said, “It’s so easy to interpret the meaning of things after they’ve already happened.”
We found ourselves in silence, again; not needing to say a word to know exactly what was going through our minds. He put his coffee on the table, set mine next to it, picked me up and sat me on his lap. We held each other for a long time. We’ve been doing that a lot these days—holding each other tight; waking up in the middle of the night to find the eyes we love most staring back (in mildly weird adoration ;-); making love until our spent bodies tell us that what we are feeling is flesh and spirit, not dreams and memories…
Never in my life have I been scared and at the same time reassured by the fear in another’s eyes. As that thought caressed my consciousness, Jacob told me, “I’m afraid to lose you again.” I chuckled, and he said, “What?”
I kissed him, and said, “I was just thinking the same thing.”
Life doesn’t always make sense, my Wicked Luvs, but like Oma Linda said to me once, “My dear one, sometimes we need to let life choose the best way to share her meaning with us.”
Today is Jacob’s birthday. He asked for three presents:
1. A bath together
3. And my hand caressing his back as we fall asleep, after enjoying the 2nd present.
I love that we can take such joy in the seemingly small things…
…and in the much bigger ones, too. The ones only him and I can fully understand.