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Do you remember when you first went away without your children? And it seemed as if every single person you met was accompanied by their cute, delightful daughter, punctuating the longing you felt for your own child.

Likewise, when it’s time to call the supremely awesome babysitter, I begin to see couples everywhere. At the mall, at the library — those two were 800, and she was helping him choose a book — it was so cool to listen to their discussion, and even at the grocery. Although, that shouldn’t surprise me, a memorable early date with Chris included dancing in the produce section at a Fresh Market.

Verlaine, le triste vivant, captures that blend of passion and effervescence. His Paris of the gilded Victorian era fostered an opulence of emotion that often made sentiment suspect. An alternate mine of deep, rich passion can be found in the letters smoldering between John & Abigail Adams.

The Young Fools by Paul Verlaine (trans. by Louis Simpson)

High-heels were struggling with a full-length dress
So that, between the wind and the terrain,
At times a shining stocking would be seen,
And gone too soon. We liked that foolishness.

Also, at times a jealous insect’s dart
Bothered out beauties. Suddenly a white
Nape flashed beneath the branches, and this sight
Was a delicate feast for a young fool’s heart.

Evening fell, equivocal, dissembling,
The women who hung dreaming on our arms
Spoke in low voices, words that had such charms
That ever since our stunned soul has been trembling
.


passionate music: anything Chopin (he jumbles nationalism, romance and pathos rather rhythmically); or Django & Grapelli (they channel Henry Miller, Anäis Nin, Stein and all the delicious sordidness of inter-war Europe); Ain’t Even Done with the Night (John Mellencamp — although the mood gets tempered by the memory of a little boy yelling, “mommy, they’re playing the ain’t done with the knife song”); Angel Tonight (Leigh Nash); Do Ya think I’m sexy (Rod Stewart — yes, as long as I can listen & not see you); Damn, I wish I was your lover (Sophie B. Hawkins — shouldn’t love this, I do); Hello, Young Lovers (from the King & I — the apex of longing); History of Lovers (Calexico with Iron & Wine — such a perfect pairing); I Burn for You (Sting — yummy song, one of the worst movies ever, and it goes on and on and on); I Wanna be your Lover or Diamonds & Pearls (Prince — do you want in your face or subtle? OK, he could pretty much sing the periodic table, and it would be sexy); In the Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett — late night djs and cool music); Let’s Spend the Night Together (the Stones — usually straightforward & uncomplicated); Lover Man (I love Charlie Parker’s mood altering version); No Other Lover (BLUE ON GREEN — they like caps and neat cuts); Passionate Kisses (Mary Chapin Carpenter — her words could seduce rocks); Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon — I just like this song); Steal My Kisses (Ben Harper — just an easy groove); Until the Night (Billy Joel — just follow the rhythm); Warm Love (Van Morrison — walking along the beach, holding hands and digging your toes into the sand); and Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton — I know it’s the cheese whiz of cheesiest, but I can’t help it, total melt)

What a grand thing to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love! –> Victor Hugo

Take care,
Aly

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