So this morning, I got up early to accompany my friend to the hospital for a bit of day surgery on her fancy lady bits. It felt kind of early, and a lot of that was my own fault, because I’d decided on a road trip at around 11:30 last night, knowingly denying myself some sleep. The decision came as I was all hopped up on joy, having returned from play rehearsal. It was a jolly fine road trip with good company and some laughs and general happy times.
We got to the hospital bright and early, and I happily settled into the (rather chilly) waiting room for a few hours. I’m not bothered by waiting rooms or waiting in general, especially since I enjoy watching people and how they interact. Well, not in an in-the-bushes kind of way, more of an observer of life. If I do get bored in waiting rooms, I quite often remind myself of how much time I enjoy spending in coffee shops (well, just that one) and figure it’s really rather similar. Just in this case, minus the coffee and tasty delights. I felt it may be rather rude to show up with a giant coffee and some bacon-laden goodness in a room full of people who hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink past midnight. I’d have feared for my safety.
At any rate, I was patiently waiting, reading my script a bit and alternately reading a book on Steve Jobs, my iPhone.
People came and went as the morning moved along. Some chatty ones, some rude ones, mostly scared ones who didn’t know how to sit still while their loved ones were under the knife. (I like that saying, and having been under the knife more than once in my own life, I like to think that I’m allowed to use such a phrase. I’ve earned my scars!)
The whole time, though, while I was waiting and generally trying not to talk to strangers today, as I wanted to concentrate on Minding My Own Business, there was a lot of noise happening. See, our local hospital is under construction, which is good and great and needed. It’s also very loud and randomly crashing.
In the middle of all that construction noise, I, and all my companions in the waiting room, could hear the banter between the construction men. Funny comments about who was up late and whose wife was cranky and other amusing man business. And then, every so often, one of them would sing. Only a lyric or two, never the full song, but always cheerful and exceptionally spirited (and on key, which also is something I’m fond of). Everything from popular songs of today to oldies, to the odd mixed up lyric, he just sang his heart out.
And when he did, we all smiled. All morning, he sang.
So then, even though there was a big wall between us and even though I have no idea who he is or what he looks like, I pretty much fell in love with him.
It’s just how it goes. I fall in love probably about six times a day, maybe more.
Not just with random construction workers who sing “why can’t we be friends?” and cause the whole waiting room, even that mean lady who was cranky with her kids, to smile. But with strangers on the hiway who let me in, and the pancake guy that I met on my road trip in June and one time, a blind man with a jaunty chapeau.
It’s not unusual for me to send out a text to my friends which go like Anyhow, I fell in love again today… followed by random names that I give the object of my ten-to-fifteen minute affection. That Cute Cookie Guy. The Weirdo With the Parrot. Sir Jive Walker. Smiley Eyes III.
I pretty much also fall out of love rather quickly. More so, just kind of forgetfully. So, for example, if my friend doesn’t see my text for a few hours because they are, well, normal people at work in normal settings, and they happen to respond with Again? I’m usually like Oh, yeah, anyhow, I’m un-inlove with him now. NOW I’m in love with this French Macaroon.
Because, see, I don’t just stick to people when I’m falling in love. I’ve fallen in love with food and sunsets and the way the first waves of summer touch my toes and make me far too cold. I’ve fallen in love with a steak more than once. And that smell in the crook of a baby’s neck.
I have fallen head-over-heels for various cities, the feel of silk and one time, the most delicious cherry coke float.
I’ve fallen in love with the sleepy face of my child and with the way he breathed in his sleep.
I’ve fallen in love with Facebook and with the books I’ve written.
OH man, I’ve fallen in love with the characters of more books than I could number, and am presently in love with one of the characters of the book I’m writing.
I’m in a play, so I’m busy falling in love with the character I’m playing, AND then falling in love with the character she’s in love with.
BAM. That’s a whole lotta lovin’!
I don’t even need to tell you how many stilettos I’ve fallen in love with.
Anyhow, maybe by now you’re thinking that I need to check out the psych ward of said hospital, or maybe you feel like I’ve trivialized the deep depths of serious love and some other long-winded explanations of how love is a hard commitment and not a feeling blah blah blah.
While you’re doing that, I’ve just fallen in love seventy six times. Two of which involved candy and one of which involved this brilliant pink toenail polish I’m sporting.
Whatever you may think of it, this I know—I’m in love with life. I’m so happy to have fallen in love with it, and to kiss it square on the lips when it looks all sleepy and to write poetry about it when it’s wonderful and to stroke its cheek in sweet silence when its sorrows are fierce. I love it.
I love it when it’s written across the faces of babies. I love it when my son’s life is drawn in rich, vibrant strokes of alive. I love it in the gentle breathing of my friend, now home from the hospital, sleepy on the sofa. I love it when it surprises me in the morning with gentle joys. I love it when it pours from me in creativity and longing. I love falling in love with life.
Something changes in the world around me when I’m in love. Like this morning, with the singing construction worker. Once I’d entertained a few interesting scenarios that my imagination conjured up, I sat back with my book, listening to him belt out random lyrics. And it made me smile.
When I walked down the halls of the hospital, I smiled at people I saw.
I felt good. I felt happy and alive and connected to the people I encountered, because in that moment of falling in love, what had really happened, what does really happen, I suppose, is that my heart remembered that it is supposed to live wide-open.
So I just… fell.
And loved it.
© 2013 juliet deWal