Thursday, January 17, 2002

Romance is Dead, as Suzy Said

After reading Suzy's treatise on romance being dead (The Queer Poet link-->)
I have to concur, it is dead, or at least severely wounded.
I used to feel the rush of a new relationship in every strand of my DNA, the waiting, the anticipation, the heart pounding, the fugue state, the five-hour telephone calls, the floral deliveries, the silk wrapped packages, the scented love letters, the inscribed books, the CDs specially burnt for her, the e-cards, the e-mail, the works.
They knew me at the post office, first from sending packages to Massachusetts, then to Montreal. Now I only mail an occasional package to a friend or relative. When I go in now, they act like I'm just another stooge off the street.
I once sent a 6-pack of 8 ounce Cokes overnight mail to a lover who'd never had them in the small bottles before. Cost me $48, but what the hell, I was in love.
I think I may have depleted my love arsenal. Seems like everyone around me has.
Now I meet someone and hold back.
I test the waters. I am suspicious. I am quid pro quo. I must give off the scent of charred ruins, because I am burnt out and can't find a way to jump-start new romance anymore.
I dated a woman here in town before the holidays and we always met at a restaurant or bar, never in each other's homes. I once picked her up for a date at her ex lover's house, and that's as close as it got.
I used to make seduction dinners with 50 candles burning, carefully selected CDs stacked up, flowers, china, cloth napkins. I'd make exotic dishes with rare ingredients I'd have to go to three stores to find, and the wine would take me another hour to select. I'd put rose petals between the ironed sheets for later.
It all seems like a distant memory now.
I don't bend over backward unless she does, and she never does.
Seems everyone is standing here, but looking back toward the past. Everyone seems shell-shocked, like we were all in love last year, or year before last, and we never quite got over it.
It's not even depressing, it's just sort of bittersweet like the James Ingram song "Just Once."
It's like knowing I once had it in me, and wondering if I'll ever feel that way again.
Suzy says she's not going to accept anything but romance in a relationship.
I am saying I hope it still exists inside of me.

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