My nephew’s boyfriend was in a car accident on Friday night.
He’s OK. The car is . . . Well, I am afraid the car is not OK, but David is OK and that’s really what matters. We picked him up from the scene of the accident and brought him back to our place and fed him dinner and brownies and gave him ibuprofen and I (barely and probably not well) resisted the urge to wrap him in cotton wool and keep him safe from irresponsible young women who drive like maniacs.
I’d like to live in a world where I could simply say that “my nephew’s boyfriend was in a car accident” and know that sentence would be the same as if I said that “my nephew’s girlfriend . . .” and that would be the end of it. The world is getting there. It isn’t there yet.
I do not care if Travis is gay. I don’t. I don’t care if he’s gay, straight or plans on having a poly-amorous relationship with martians and a Swedish ivy plant.
I care that he finds love. That he gets it and gives it. That is a nurturing, sustaining, fascinating and fulsome sort of love. A love that is at turns Friday night on the town exciting and Sunday morning rumpled sheets and scrambled eggs comforting.
And I don’t care if the object of that love is male, female or a temperamental house plant.
On Friday night I watched Travis wrap David in his arms and lean down and talk to him, and it was exactly the same as any other sort of love, the behaviour of any other set of lovers.
I learned in that hospital room, as Gabriel lay dying: I learned that the world can be hard and cold and unforgiving. It does not yield to our cries for compassion and mercy, it just carries on turning. The world is nothing more than a ball of rock with oxygen. Any improvements we wish for we must engineer ourselves.
We see pictures of the earth from space and it is our perceptions that colour it. The blue of the ocean, the green of the land, the wisps of the cloud, those aren’t beautiful. The ocean is cold and deep, the earth is hard and rocky and the clouds bring the wind and the snow and the rain.
There is not enough love in the world. Not enough kindness, not enough care, not enough compassion and not enough joy.
I found Mr. Spit. The man who is not just my friend, but my lover, the father of my children, my comfort and my solace. He’s my joy and delight. He makes the world a softer, kinder and better place for me. He adds the blue to the ocean, the cool to the breeze, the softness to the white sand and the scent of salt to the air. He makes the world into those pictures of the earth you see from space, for me.
Travis has found David.
I have only known Travis for two years. The very strange thing about becoming an Aunt to a young man is that you get to see him become a man, without the baggage of childhood. I don’t know Travis as a baby, a child, an awkward 13 year old. I knew the day would come – soon – when I saw this young man and realized he was a man.
I was barreling into the house, to get ibuprofen, to make tea, to try, as I always do, to fix things. I looked into the glass of my front door and saw reflected back at me that hug and the words. It was a private moment – shared between lovers – one that I looked at quickly and looked away.
It was an entirely adult moment. I looked at the two of them in reflection and I saw an intimate love, not through the eyes of an aunt, but through the eyes of an adult, a woman who is looked at like this, by someone who loves her.
He found love. A love that I think is nurturing and sustaining and caring and exciting. A love that is like mine with Mr. Spit. This is the mark of adulthood – when we find someone like this.
This is how we bring colour to the world.
And the world has a bit more colour in it now.