Updated: Jun 4, 2021
LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae in The Photograph (2020) Universal Pictures
"A guy and girl can be just friends but, at one point or another, they will fall for each other. Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late or, maybe forever."
--Dave Matthews Band
Maybe this is true.
In the deep of the night, the smell of petrichor accompanied by subtle notes of Gucci Bloom Profumo Di Fiori occasionally sweeps through my open bedroom window, tickling the olfactory silica of my nose like fingertips on the soles of a baby's feet.
Each inhale of the lingering, magical fragrance shortens the measure of miles that separate us, bringing you to my bedside by the power of love's trinity, pulling back the blanket of my dreams, and laying on the mattress of my mind.
Something spiritual. Religious. Biblical.
Beneath closed eyelids, my third eye sees a svelte, shadow-colored hand thumbing through the Song of Solomon’s poetic Chapter 8, pointing to verses 6-7, and I, somniloquy its prose:
"…since my soul is all in flames of love to thee, which cannot be quenched by all I suffer on thy account; nor will be parted with all that the world can give to thee. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it …"
I awaken from my psychotropic slumber questioning my emotions and knowing I am in trouble.
Is this love that I am feeling? How could I know? And why did I think I was feeling love? In what time and space had I been unaware of its subtle symptoms?
The diagnosis was she has long been both my red rose and the violet capable of curing my blues, but I am the one who made her a cerebral event—a full-on love affair of the mind.
Fear gripped me.
How did she get through to my hardened heart, appealing to all my senses? How is it that the sight, smell, taste, touch and sound of her softened me? Had she and cupid conspired to take me down? Did they each know I was devoid of the armor to protect myself from bow and arrow and without a shield to deflect its fiery dart? Or a sword to defend my vulnerability from the weight of my love for her?
A Sara Dessen quote quickly massaged my thoughts, conquering my doubts, soothing my fears, and answering my query while suturing my wound, "There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment."
Floundering, this moment of clarity sent me rifling through old CDs, vinyl and saved playlists on my phone.
Pandora answered my need for music therapy with Peabo Bryson's If Ever You're in My Arms Again. The song's lyrics paralyzed my body and my faculties, leaving me comatose save the involuntary blinking of the eyes.
The Box had been opened and every song on autoplay sent me deeper into a vortex. Anthony Hamilton's Change Your World, Bobby Caldwell's What You Won't Do for Love, Corrine Bailey Rae's Trouble Sleeping, Marvin Gaye's Come Live with Me Angel, Stevie's wonderous All I Do, Anderson Paak's Make It Better, SiR's All in My Head, Musiq Soul Child's Teach Me, Masego's instrumentals and finally, Ari Lennox's Chocolate Pomegranate each gave voice to what I refused to yield to, love.
Time has continued, and love is now seen in the few fine white hairs peeking through my beard. My shit is Corinthian. When I was a child, I had a child's love language, I thought as a child. But when I faced my fears and became a man, I put away those childish things.
This guy is telling you this ain’t a temporary love; now is the right time and, forever ain't never too late.
I have a box of chocolate pomegranates and a table set for two. I wrote this billet-doux to let you know that I am still in love with you.