Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Kim Bromley
My friend Romy is the Bill Gates of love. She's married to a movie-star handsome man who loves her desperately, beyond all reason. Eighteen years ago they met in a café in St. Germain de pres and have been passionate about each other ever since. He raised her kids with her, stayed home when she jet-setted around the world for Nike, and performs oral sex like his life depends on it. She would do anything for him.
Three months ago her college boyfriend called out of the blue. "I always loved you," he said. This was his opener. It went from there. To date she hasn't slept with him (see above) but she'd like to. It's a good thing that phone calls and e-mail don't take up warehouse storage space. ‘Cuz they would need one.
Romy was always a righteous bitch about men who cheat. "How can you love two people?" she would say. Now she is humbled by the embarrassment of her riches; she has more love than anyone knows what to do with. "You can love more than one pet, more than one child, and more than one parent," she tells me, "but in this society you can only love one lover." Or not, it would seem.
Meanwhile, a woman I work with poured her heart out to me one night on the way home. Her car was in the shop and my compassion was on my sleeve. Aileen, the woman I work with, is looking for love. I think about Romy and how she could open up shop. Aileen has joined clubs, frequented bars, and combed the internet. She has had over three hundred first dates. Not one of them turned into a second date. Over three hundred. I am aghast. She's nice, petite, attractive, smart, and very kind. She's a little annoying to listen to, but who of us isn't? I met a woman once who could easily pass for a man, and was married to a man she browbeat as though he were her errant servant. Incredible. And yet, Aileen can't get a second date.
Romy knows she should tell college man that they can't communicate anymore. She knows it would kill her husband if he knew she was in love with them both. She cannot stop herself. "There should be a socialist system for love," I tell her. "I agree," she says, "but you can't tell love what to do." Love is more powerful than money. Romy is a love tycoon and has the most juju of any woman I know.
Kim Bromley, Marin County, CA.
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