Love Is Like Cigarettes, Pomegranates, and Sleep
Many people assume that love is perfect like in those fairytales our parents used to read us when we were little, where the prince and princess fall deeply in love at first sight and live happily ever after, perfect like taking a bite of a big red, sweet strawberry that is just ripe enough, and very juicy. I do not exactly agree with the strawberry analogy. Maybe it is not that easy, maybe the prince has to do an act of bravery to be with her, like fight off evil dragons. I think perfect is more like a pomegranate.
I am driving to his house, which consists of a short five-minute drive, when there is no traffic. I am listening to “Two Step” by Dave Matthews Band. The chorus that says Celebrate we will, ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain always manages to put a smile on my face. Not to sound like a cliché, but I think about how people should live life to its greatest potential; there’s so much meaning behind those few words, a meaning that I try to live my life by. I used to get sad driving to his house because I usually thought of how I would be going to college in a few weeks and I thought that maybe everything would be over when I left, since we decided not to ever bring it up. Even though I clearly knew that when I started this relationship I would be leaving soon, I decided to look at it as though maybe it would be the shortest relationship ever, but could be one of the best ones.
I park my car and run as fast as I can across the pavement because the ground is so hot and I am barefoot as usual. I climb the stairs to his apartment, open the door and walk to the couch. He turns the television on, but I’m not paying attention to what is going on. I am lying on the black leather couch in his cold, one bedroom apartment, slowly getting sleepy in his big, strong arms, I look out the sliding glass doors at the gorgeous, hot bright summer day, so hot that I can see the steam coming off the sidewalk. I look down at the palm trees not moving at all because absolutely no breeze prevails, and I see my grey Jetta parked in the same spot it is always in. I realize that this is the best place I could be, and I could never be happier. I feel “home.” He moves me a little bit to get the ashtray off the floor, and lights up a cigarette. I watch him smoke and see his perfect shadow over me and I realize just how beautiful he is to me. He looks over at my tired eyes and asks if I am going to fall asleep, and I smile and say no, of course not.
I grab my orange “Pelican Larry’s” cup off the ground, and as I look at it, I start to get a queasy feeling in my stomach because that’s the name of the bar he goes to whenever we get into an argument. The cup is almost full of pomegranate juice. I take a small sip of the purple bitter, yet very sweet juice that supposedly makes a person live longer. I clench my cheeks from the taste but for some reason keep drinking, convincing myself that it is good for me. He lights another cigarette and picks up his guitar and starts playing a song he wrote. The beginning of the song consists of slow, light strumming and progresses to loud, hard strums. He told me that he came up with lyrics but he doesn’t like his voice enough to sing them out loud. I watch very closely, noticing the look on his face. He usually looks like he’s upset or unhappy, but I know that’s just his expression, and it’s not the truth. After studying his face and the way he smokes his cigarettes, long drags, and deep breaths, but never finishes the whole thing, I suddenly fall asleep to the peaceful chords with the taste of pomegranates still lingering in my mouth and the overwhelming smell of cigarettes.
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The day has come, my last day in Naples, before I was leave to go to Tallahassee. I am packing all my belongings as fast as I possibly can, keeping in mind that seeing him will be the last thing I do before I leave for college. I get to his place later than I expect to, and I can tell he isn’t happy about that at all. I sit next to him on that black couch for the very last time and he can hardly look at me. I notice a glass of pomegranate juice routinely sitting next to me on the side table. He lights up a cigarette and is absolutely quiet for the next couple of minutes, then he takes out another cigarette and smokes it, and then another. Every so often, he looks over at me as if I am supposed to say something, which makes me nervous; he’s usually the one who does the talking. It’s hard for me to tell exactly what was on his mind, but I can tell we are both feeling emotions of fearfulness and distress. After some more chain smoking, he looks at me again and apologizes for being mad at me for getting there so late. We start making some small talk and then he tells me to look out the window at the sky.
Tonight is one of those eerie nights prior to when a hurricane is supposed to hit. The sky looks tranquil yet windy at the same time. This is what most call “the calm before the storm.” The sun had set about an hour earlier, but still-brilliant shades of pink linger over the horizon. We walk outside and sit on his lanai; overlooking the parking lot where my Jetta is, I realize that I will never see it parked there again. The night feels chilly for August in south Florida; it actually feels quite good.
When reality finally hits me that I am leaving, too many thoughts rush through my head. I suddenly don’t know why I am leaving. Going to school in Tallahassee is my way of running away from problems, but suddenly it seems like I have created a new problem. I have no idea why or how I can leave. I must have been in deep thought because the next thing I know I am opening my eyes and I am lying on the couch, wrapped tightly in a blanket. He is playing “Collide” by Howie Day on his blue Delta and smiling at me. I wake up to sunflowers and daises (my favorite flowers) lying on the floor next to me.
We decide to go to Seagate, an isolated beach in Naples that many people don’t know about (another one of our routines) and look at the stars. The beach is almost deserted, except for an elderly couple blissfully holding each other tightly on the boardwalk. He grabs my arm tightly and tells me that there is a good chance I can fly away with wind this strong. He holds me close and we watch the waves crash into the shoreline. In the back of my mind I hope that he will come back to me again someday, I hope I can captivate him like I did the day we met, pulled him towards me just as the moon controls the tides.
I feel that goodbyes are impossible, especially when I have every intention of seeing him again someday. Our goodbye is like that of any other night I shared with him. He walks me down the stairs and across the parking lot to my Jetta. We are standing in front of my car and we hold each other closely, and I rest my head on his chest, noticing how well we fit together, like a puzzle with all its pieces put together. He kisses me and tells me to be careful driving.
Hey my love do you believe that we might last a thousand years, or more if not for this? Our flesh and blood it ties you and me right up, tie me down. These words run through my head repeatedly as I get onto I-75, all alone preparing myself for the seven hour drive away from the place I’ve called home for eight years. The same place I met him. As I watch the palm trees slowly become replaced by large pine trees, and the flat newly paved highways transform into hills, I wonder how much longer I can be the luckiest girl ever. It makes me so sad that even when I go back to visit him nothing will be the same ever regardless of all the pomegranate juice and all the cigarettes smoked. We’re climbing two by two to be sure these days continue, these things we cannot change.
I drive all the way up to FSU with those sunflowers and daises lying on the passenger seat and I finally feel ready to move on. From my experiences and everyday moments with my “prince charming” I have gained a great deal of wisdom when it comes to relationships, how to compromise, and how to share, especially mentally, everything I have with someone. As for love, one can interpret it any way that feels true. I can honestly say I do not know much about love except that it is real! The love that I know resembles the bittersweet taste of a pomegranate, the burning pleasure of cigarette overpowering one in a small room, yet at the same time peaceful like falling asleep on a summer day. Oh, my love, I came to you with best intentions, you laid down and gave to me just what I’m seeking. Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain, we’re climbing two by two, to be sure these days continue, things we cannot change…things we cannot change.
Love Is Like Cigarettes, Pomegranates, and Sleep-Process Memo
I enjoy reading a plethora of different reading materials. I find it interesting how different forms of media use unique and diversified writing style. I have been introduced to so many ways to revise, expand, reduce and change my style, is it overwhelming (in a good way).
In my paper, I used a technique called “A Fat Draft.” This enabled me to make particular paragraphs twice as long. I noticed that it also added many descriptive details that my paper was missing. When it was in both workshops, I used the amplifying technique called burrowing. My classmates pointed out certain aspects that they wanted expanded or explained better, and I tried to elaborate more.
In class we tried an exercise where we write about a beverage, but there are certain guidelines that one must follow, such as only one syllable words. Then we had to rewrite the paragraph following another set of guidelines. This exercise was particularly helpful in guiding me to my strengths and weaknesses in my writing, and to better develop my style.
After I analyzed my writing style, I came up with several common themes that shape my style. I to provide the reader with a great amount of physical description, enough that they can picture the scene. I love to write about nature and music and the sense of peace and tranquility that goes hand and hand with those two themes. In almost every piece of writing, the reader will notice that somehow these topics are present and actually tie the essay together.