aka THE ROMANTIC YEARS
I am looking at one of the most famous images in the world – an All-American covered wagon or, more romantically – and, I am nothing if not the epitome of romance – an All-American prairie schooner. Now I am looking at… what I am looking at now causes the blood to race, violently, through my virile veins. What I am looking at now causes hot longings to surge, irrepressibly, through my firmly muscled loins. What I am looking at now causes searing desire to quicken my heartbeat and tauten my…
I cross my legs, raise my gaze a foot or so and look at her face instead. Her name is Mary-Psued, (the ‘d’ being silent in speech) and we have fallen in love.
“I love you,” I greet her, conversationally.
“I love you,” she responds.
“I love you more. My bride! My own!” I assert, passion reverberating in my ineffably and utterly masculine baritone.
“No, no! I love YOU more, Ares. My husband. My lord and love! Most wondrous fair!” she protests, ardent adoration causing her delicate frame to quiver in anticipation of my fervent embraces.
“No! I love YOU more Mary-Psued! My love is boundless as the ocean!”
“Well, MY love is infinite as the sky!”
“MY love soars higher than a hawk!”
“MY love is deeper than a well!”
“Look!” I drop my finely tapered hands to my lissom, lean hips. “A hawk flies higher than a well is deep!”
“Huh?” feminine bemusement at this rational, masculine argument furrows the ivory velvet of her brow.
“A well is going to be – what? – a hundred foot deep at the very most! A hawk flies a lot higher than a hundred feet! Therefore, I love you more!”
“Yes, but a well has a consistent permanent depth! The flight of a hawk rises and falls AND he spends a certain proportion of time perched close to earth. Therefore over a twenty-four hour period the average depth of a well is greater than the average height of a hawk. So,” she triumphs, “…I love you more!”
“Do not!” I explain, fluently.
“No woman’s side could bear the beating of so strong a love as I bear for you Mary-Psued!” I scowl, crossly.
“Could too! If a man’s feelings are more robust, are not a woman’s more tender?” she demands, her admirably modulated voice rising into a register which I can only describe as – shrill. “So, there! Pffftttt!”
“Light of my Darkness…” I interrupt, taking her tiny, trusting hand in mine. “Do you realise what is happening? This is the first quarrel of our married life.”
Tears spring to the deep pools which are my beloved’s eyes. “Oh, Ares,” she gasps, launching herself to tremble, flower-like, in my manly arms. “How could I ever dispute with you? Forgive me! You are right! You DO love me more!”
“No, no!” I declare, pressing her softness against the hard wall of my chest. “You were right, my wise helpmeet. Let me be ever guided by your gentle counsel! YOU love ME more! Indeed,” an indulgent smile creases my sun-kissed cheeks, “…how could you help it?”
“No, YOU love ME more!”
“No, YOU love ME more!”
“Listen, you dumb doofus…” A feminine grip is tightened – painfully…
SOME TIME LATER
When we have both recovered our breath from reconciling our differences, I pose the question I meant to ask before the amatory argument with my bride diverted me.
“Why is this covered wagon outside our front door, Light of my Darkness?”
“It is to transport us to our new life in the unorganised territories,” beams the angel of my hearth. “Do you like it?” Without pausing for my answer, she to whom my heart yearns, pulls me to examine the vehicle. “ I knew you’d love it. I know it looks a little bare right now but just think what we can do with it. I mean it’s got such atmosphere and charm. Well it’s got atmosphere. Oh Beloved, don’t you just love it?”
I had assumed the first leg of our journey, through the bustling Massachusetts city in which we reside, might be accomplished better by train. However, a more pressing problem presents itself to my razor sharp masculine intellect.
“It has no wheels,” I point out.
“I know, that’s why I got it for such an exceedingly reasonable price. You know how earnestly I desire to support you by being a model of domestic economy when we live our dream of poverty-stricken destitution in the unforgiving, unorganised, terrain of the West. Now, I thought I could hang cooking pots here, and I’ll have my maid sew some adorable curtains. Oh Ares,” she beams, “… can you imagine what unorganised bliss will be ours, dwelling within this wagon?”
“It has no wheels.”
Mary-Pseud’s eyes – those limpid lakes of loveliness – reproach my dull, conventional thinking. Her warm hand caresses me, persuasively.
She is right! My love, my own!
“You are right, my love, my own! What need have we of wheels? It is love which makes the world go round!”