Saturday, March 31, 2007

Real love

I'm sitting on my bed, listening to music, writing to strangers. I just left my roommate and her wife in the other room talking and snuggling. My roommate is here, in the Midwest, for medical school. Her wife still lives and works back in San Francisco. She is just here visiting for the week. The whole long distance relationship thing is really hard on them. Each is the other's very favorite person, and they really miss each other. Right now, I am trying to give them their space.

We were sitting on the couch watching a movie tonight. I looked over and saw them cuddled together and thought of this passage from The Velveteen Rabbit. They concluded their wedding ceremony with this. When I read it, it takes me back to that day, standing on a porch overlooking the mountains, quietly crying the mascara off my face as we celebrated their love.

"What is real?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

There are some things so beautiful you feel lucky just to sit next to them on the couch. Their love is one of those things.


ryan said...

oh, perfect
so sweet
so beautiful

sweet on a level above most

you just showed the gentleness of

Maria said...

Ah yes. The Velveteen Rabbit. One of my favorites.

Is the apartment big? Cause there is nothing harder than trying to give someone privacy in an apartment.

Well, unless it's a dorm room...

We never had a wedding and it is a shame really because we really need some new kitchen stuff.

Esmerelda said... tre...

Cheryl said...

I've only known a few couples who have been truly in love. Not my folks. Not my ex and me. So, nice story.

Melanie said...

i never would have thought of the Velveteen Rabbit in that context, but it fits so perfectly. i really hope that they are able to withstand the separation and still be strong at the end. LDRs can be hard, and it takes a very specific kind of person to be able to cope with them. i hope that, five years from now, they will just be looking back on that time apart as a speedbump on the path of their lives.

amusings_bnl said...

that is a beautiful thought. oh so perfect.

velveteen rabbit for weddings
the little prince for funerals.

that is the way it should be.

good on you for giving some space to the couple. i hope they have a nice visit and it isn't too hard on their hearts as they are apart.