“Everyone always wants to know how you can tell when it’s true love, and the answer is this: when the pain doesn’t fade and the scars don’t heal, and it’s too damned late.”― Jonathan Tropper
Two years ago, I spent Valentine’s Day with Johnny Depp.
I was living in a straight line across the country from the nearest person that I knew I loved and so, I figured if I couldn’t be with them, then I’d like to spend the day with someone whom the pits of my hearts shrieked for. I put on my shiniest tights, blistering red blush, and I accessorized with a very loyal friend who agreed to stand outside the backdoor exit of a Los Angeles movie theater for the premier of Mr. Depp’s new film, “Rango”. We waited for 4 and 1/2 hours while the stubborn Santa Ana winds blew the smell of trash and pushy strangers closer and closer to our desperate faces.
I guess you can say that I spent Valentine’s Day with the back of Johnny Depp’s head.
When he came out the back door, surrounded by large crude men, I pushed my way to the front of the swarming crowd–not with a sharpie marker like the rest of them–but with flailing arms ready to pounce on top of the Deppster and press my quivering lips against his for a warm, wet, smooch.
I guess you can say that I spent Valentine’s Day in the arms of Johnny Depp’s bodyguard who persistently told me, like many other boys, don’t come back around here ever again.
I’ve spent my fair share of VDay’s going to town on a giant cookie cake, myself, or reading a book of Neruda’s love poems on the floor of a bookstore, to recognize that we spend this day in particular in a state of “wanting”.
Wanting teddy bears, wanting chocolate covered teddy bears, wanting chocolate covered teddy bears with ice cream filling and edible glitter sparkles. Wanting to suddenly have a strapping guy to hold us tightly on the subway or blow our nose for us when we are home sick with the flu. Wanting to wake up on the 14th of February, with our morning breath and nappy hair, to nonchalantly greet our soul mate. We are suddenly, in a span of 24 hours, wanting to fix and to change and to understand our love lives–as if they can be chopped up and compartmentalized into a simple problem solving math equation.
And maybe we want these things the rest of the year (mostly the chocolate) but we somehow make do without them and rely on patience and the other joys of life to distract us until they bump into our lives.
Love, like cellulite, isn’t cultivated over night. It slowly starts to creep up on us and most of the time, it’s when we least expect it. Enjoy what you have now, before it starts to sag around the edges of your butt, or disappears.
My night with Johnny didn’t end with handcuffs in the back of an LAPD car, like his bodyguard so charmingly threatened.
It ended, in peace, at a local deli with a grilled cheese sandwich the size of my head and my very loyal friend. And while we were laughing and taking pictures of ourselves decked out in the unflattering color of red, a pair of guys approached us with half-inflated heart shaped balloons and said hello.
The most exciting things happen to us when we are not waiting around for them or wanting them to.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all the nouns in your life that make your palms sweaty and your heart do the Harlem shake.