Saturday, March 17, 2012

398 Days - The Bootsy Collins Backup Vocals

What. Is. Love?

For those almost or already 40-somethingers reading this, that line likely brought you back to the club that you got into with your older cousin’s expired drivers license. It likely brought you back to the middle of the dance floor next to your three best friends who made a semi-circle around their handbags as they tried not to spill their Malibu bay breezes on their  Bakers’ plastic platform shoes and acetate bell bottoms. No? Doesn’t sound like you? Well, it’s exactly where I was. Lady Miss Keir and me; we were groovin’ in our hearts, and singing along to the Bootsy Collins backup vocals. We were sporting our fiercely blue liquid eyeliner (tops only!) and flirting with the Greek bartender/lawyer behind the bar. And Lady Miss Keir was feeling it, and I was feeling it, and we were feeling it and singing it and smelling it and tasting it and wondering to ourselves…
What. Is. Love?
Twenty years ago I would have told you something different than what I know it to be now. I would have told you it was the guy who took me to the shore for the weekend and opened my car door (almost every time!) I would have told you it meant being with someone all day, every day, day in and day out, and never wanting to be apart. I would have told you it was exactly what I was in and that the person I was with was the only one for me and that my eyes would never wander and that there was no one else in the world. Of course, I now know better, because my eyes did wander, plenty. And there were other people in the world. But that still doesn’t mean that I know now or will ever know exactly what love is. Or maybe I do. Or maybe I’m still learning, and that’s okay too, because we should learn one thing every day of our lives and if we haven’t, then it was an unsuccessful day.
Love goes in stages. It gets complicated and then it gets easy. It gets messy and then it straightens itself out. It grabs you when you least expect it and lets you go never, even when you try to shake it. It can exist without there ever being a presence, and yet can also dissolve when you swore it was right in front of you. It’s tricky, and wonderful, and maddening and free. And you can’t live without it, even if you don’t know what exactly it is.
I wonder what Lady Miss Keir is doing right now. I wonder if she is still her fabulous self, kicking out sick tunes in her head or reliving the memories of club nights gone by. I wonder if she still wonders what love is, or if she knew what it was all along and just forgot to share it with the rest of us. What a mean trick to play.  

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