I was on the bus when I spy this couple sharing a nap on the bus bench, his head on her shoulder, instead of the other way around, when she pulls out her puffy jacket and places it as a pillow under his head for comfort, and then she closes her eyes too.
We all look for some grand and searing passion instead of the other way around: the insignificant certainty of kindness that we can all afford, to not demand much, other than the recognition that somebody wishes us well, and that this is enough at the closing of the day.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A YOUR IDEAL PARTNER
a) The tagged victim has to come up with 8 different descriptions of their perfect partner.
b) He/she must tag 8 more people to join this game and leave a comment on their comments saying they’ve been tagged.*
c) If tagged a second time, there’s no need to post again.
1. My ideal partner has to have the PATIENCE of a nomad wandering the desert. Patience is not such an important virtue in a world spinning as fast as ours, but it’s the most essential characteristic in a partner because I’m remarkably slow: a slow learner, a slow eater, a slow talker, slow thinker, so much so that I have been mistaken as an unfurry sloth. Anyone less than patient would push me off a cliff to get it over and done with.
2. He doesn’t need to be smart, but ideally he is fascinated with all there is to LEARN in the world. He enjoys sharing with me something I don’t know, and once in a while, he doesn’t mind learning from me, too. It’s not syncretism or symbiosis because there’s no coherent dependency, but accretion, or random growth; you know how how coral reefs are formed slowly by years of wandering dead polyps, or how limestone caves are formed by the random encounters of water and shell secretions? Something like that. He could show me how kids as young as five years-old can climb a coconut tree in seconds, and I’ll teach him all he wants to know about insects that mimic tree bark. He doesn’t mind when I teach him silly things like that. Please go back to point number one, where I specify that he’s patient. In this case, he’s a patient teacher and a patient student.
3. He doesn’t always let me apologize first. I apologize within three hours after a fight, so sulking is not a pretty option for him. He has to know how to choose battles and how to settle once in a while. He doesn’t have to contest every single little thing and blow it out of proportion. While fighting, however, I’d prefer someone who’s spirited in defending his position, someone who can hold his ground and not give in, but doing so without resorting to name-calling, insulting my intelligence, or, God forbid, any show of violence.
4. He understands my silence, my space, my solitude. If I go walking for hours, he doesn’t blow a coronary. He knows that for years I have been a solitary creature who likes the breathing space in the woods and backalleys. If he wants, he may go and wander around with me, just as long as he’s not expecting anything exciting to happen in my think-a-thon walks around the city. And if on these walks we come across street people who are sorting garbage, he will not think I’m crazy if I try to share food with street people.
5. I don’t care if he has neoliberal capitalist views, just as long as he’s not rude to people who come from different social classes; ideally, treating people according to economic distinctions may seem silly to him. He does not harass homeless people when they ask for food or change. He does not make fun of people who have mental disabilities or learning difficulties. He does not think that poverty is a moral indicator. He is not rude to the cashier, the waitress, the cabbie, or to any other person in the service sector. He does not complain if he has to wait in line. Patience, once more.
6. He is not aiming for an easy glitzy glamourous life. Or at least he understands that I’m not. Leisure is well and fine, but there’s more to life than piling riches and being contented with the status quo; living his days only for himself is short-sightedness. One doesn’t need to look too far to see that there are so many things in this interconnected world that could be improved, and we only get more or less a hundred years to contribute that small chunk of ourselves to a cause. And the point is not how successful he could be, but that he struggled and chased meaning.
7. This is purely indulgence on my part, but I wouldn’t terribly mind if he WRITES me letters once in a while. He doesn’t have to, I guess; if he doesn’t like words, then he can find some other medium. It’s not the words that count, or the letters for that matter, but the self-revelatory aspect of it; I know that it’s scary and risky to pull out something so private. Still, if he can’t learn to be comfortable enough to share with me, then we are at an impasse. The image that comes to my mind are two goldfishes staring at each other from separate fishbowls. It’s like this: If he can’t be himself with me, could I possibly eat breakfast with him one day, eating heapfuls of oatmeal with ice cream and sausages and eggs and bacon and tea and milk, answering the crossword puzzle, and washing the dishes on the sink- could we ever be comfortable enough “among the cups, the marmalade, the tea” to do something so seemingly effortless and graceless and inconsequential together? I’m not looking for grand declarations. It’s the little things that take trust.
8. He knows me. You might think that’s funny, but knowing someone you love is not always a given. He lets me know him, too. In the sense of learning about each other. Even if you throw out all the seven other characteristics, with number eight I would have built a genuine friendship. That takes time. And did I mention patience already?
If you read this, you’re TAGGED.