Love and the pursuit of happiness

A murmur of voices resounded within the book-laiden walls of the pub and café.

A mooses head hung on one wall, amongst a mix of other objects. Around the walls, crevices and various free spaces, were many an interesting thing. In one corner stood a kilted male mannequin, next to a glass cabinet full of beer brands from all over the world. Discoballs hung in the ceiling, telling tales about the pub’s face as a Thursday-night live music venue. There was a stuffed seagull soaring above an ever-changing sea of people.

Spread out across the carpeted floor were little red leather couches, wooden, patted chairs gathering around iron-wrought, black tables with intricate designs. On top of which candlelights burned. Around these candlelights, from the same source as the fire,  stories revealed themselves. Whereever one looks there is stories. And right in front of me, at the table opposite mine , one story out of many was playing out.

A woman of middleage, grey-haired and with a controlled expression upon her face sat across  a middleaged grey-haired man. A man, whose face was not visible to me. However, it needn’t be. The whole story lay in the air between them. Because there, between the woman and what I assume to have been her husband, I saw the corpse of love.  That thing to which we point with our words, long after the spirit of love has left the frame it used to give life to.

Between the two – no more than a couple of words were spoken. The husband dove into a newspaper, while the woman contented to take the pose of the martyr and suffer in silence.  In her eyes a blackness was taking hold, I could see it creeping up from somewhere within her. It was the space where a spark had used to live. As another man approached and greeted her husband, then her, a smile that seemed to take her every effort to muster, reached her mouth. It never reached her eyes.

When love has gone, there is no need to try to recover what is no longer there. Instead, we must go in search of it again. Of love, of magic. We must pusue it. In doing so, we must first overcome ourselves and the mental boundaries we have accepted to live within.

For after the lesson of saying yes, comes the lesson of learning to say no.


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