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Dances with Co-Workers

fter about a week of non-stop togetherness, I feel a shift in his demeanor. At brunch, I ask him what’s going on. Well, there’s a problem, it seems. His mind has kicked in and is saying that since I am too old to have a child, we obviously can’t get married and therefore shouldn’t be involved. He is fine when we are together, but when we are apart his brain is working overtime. And it’s not looking so good.

We continue this conversation through brunch and then take a long walk. As we walk we hear the cries of the wild parrots that fly around South Pasadena. They are noisy birds and fly in groups, settling in trees raucously screaming at each other.

We stop under a magnolia tree, looking for the parrots amongst the big waxy green leaves. We crane our necks and point the green birds out to each other, as tickled by their presence as explorers coming upon an undiscovered river.

Walking away, I say, listen to me. We don’t know how this will all play out. How can you take something that is happening now and junk it because of what may or may not happen later? The here and now should be respected. This is what it’s all about. Finding wild parrots with another person.

He says, yeah, but you can do that with a friend. You don’t need a lover to do that with.

I say No. With a lover the leaves become more than leaves. They become nesting places for wild things. With a lover, the common is transformed and the exotic is revealed.

A lover has a sense of discovery attached. You walk away holding hands. You go back home and make love all afternoon. And with a lover you fall into that gauzy afterglow, and hear the cries of things still undiscovered echoing in your dreams. . . .

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