Drove all night from North Carolina to Georgia with a busted radiator with smoke steaming out of the car so that I rode inside a thick and toxic perpetual cloud. #5. Assisted in the purchase of an over sized gold minivan by signing a lot of papers when a perfectly good cobalt blue PT Cruiser was sitting there in the same car lot calling my name. #4. Agreed to go to a pet store in Mid-Town to “just look” at a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel puppy and believed my wife when she said she would help walk him. #3. Attended a showing of the movie “Little Women” all by myself in a little theater in Murphy because my girlfriend was simultaneously watching the movie in Chapel Hill, and I wanted to feel close to her despite the distance #2. Went to a Yes concert in the early 80s without earplugs with a coed I thought was cute, resulting in questionable musical taste for three weeks and loss of hearing for three and a half hours #1. Barreled down the side of a huge mountain on skis in the Poconos just avoiding killing a small girl frozen like a deer in her pink ski suit and coming to a nice stop in the arms of a safety net with a thud only to be told later by my wife that this was the “bunny slope.” #1/2.
My dad can come up with a lot more of these. I think he kept a list of stupid things I did for love when I was in my early twenties when my judgement was suspect, but my heart was true.
I feel it’s important to make the grand stupid gesture for love every now and then. What is the point of living if not for them? How do we even know we’re alive without them? We could be robots. But when we make grand stupid gestures of love, it’s proof beyond a shadow of a doubt we’re not robots at all.
I hope my son Avery makes a grand stupid gesture for love one day. Maybe he’ll make many of them. I’ll pay his bond, help tow his car out of a lake, take him to see the proper medical professionals, help fund a tattoo removal from his left butt cheek. Whatever it takes to recover from his particular grand stupid gestures of love, I’ll be there for him.
I knew a couple back in Salisbury that did what I thought of as the grandest stupidest thing for love I’d ever heard of. Her parents hated him. He was living in a halfway house while he recovered from a drug addiction he had recently decided to trade in for an alcohol problem. The half way home would not allow her to visit or reside there. Her parents forbade her to see him, telling her she couldn’t go out with him and still live in their home. They spent their nights together in an abandoned pool that summer and showered with friends in the morning. That’s pretty stupid love. You’ve got to admit. (My wife says this was not love. Just stupidity. But I hold fast in my beliefs.)
I picture them cuddling there in the pool, praying it won’t rain. I think of them huddling for warmth on the nights when the temperature took an odd dip. I feature them swatting mosquitoes off each other. Kissing in the shallow end. Fondling in the deep. I wonder what the stars looked like at night from the bottom of the abandoned pool. Did they twinkle especially bright just for them? I like to think they did.
Another stupid thing I did for love. (Maybe.)
Left the cozy warm South to move to the freezy breezy North (#?). Most days the move from North Carolina to New York City last summer seems brilliant. All day yesterday it seemed stupid because the high was 57 degrees with a gusting wind that made it feel like -10 degrees, and I just remembered it isn’t winter yet.
(NOTE: If you have done stupid things for love, please whisper them in the comment box in quiet lowercase letters. I promise not to tell anybody who matters to you if I don’t know them personally.)