What a cave man. I feel some need to explain about how I felt about Adam, and why I overlooked so much in subsequent years. He was a liar and a profligate, a conniver and a manipulator. True, I didn't know that before I was married to him, but even after I found out what he could become, I still loved him, and was willing to put up with all his outrageous behavior as long as I could say that I was his wife.
I wasn't a swoony person, falling over at any romantic song or image. I was strong and pragmatic. Straightforward, honest, generous. Well, I tried to be.
The bottom line is that I have never seen a more beautiful creature in my life. He was truly perfectly formed. The color of his hair, a rich wheaten blonde, wavy but not kinky, the morning glory blue of his eyes; the golden color of his skin with an angel's blush on his cheeks. His eyebrows were broad, but not heavy, his brow high and straight. Neither his feet nor his hands were too big, though he was a tall man. He was well-muscled without being bulky. His head was proportioned perfectly to his body, not dwarfed by his neck and shoulders like some big men. His legs were long, but not skinny, and the hair of his chest and arms and legs was fine and golden.
I've seen statues in museums that were supposed to represent male beauty, and they don't even come close. Ben Affleck? A hag, by comparison. Sean Connery? Coarse and garish. Brad Pitt? A wimp.
Adam was like a dream come to life. His smile was winsome and unaffected. His laughter was like a kid's, helplessly bubbling out of him and robbing him of dignity. His voice was as good as a fine whiskey on a cold winter's night in front of a crackling fire.
He could fix just about anything, and was proud of what he could accomplish, and he tried to please, most of the time. He spoke confidently and clearly, and had a good vocabulary. His mother had apparently taught him something, for he had graceful manners.
And maybe there was about him a secretive aspect, something that tempted me to explore and unravel. Something hidden, something perhaps dangerous, and attractive in its peril?
As for my side of it, well, I had been lectured long and repeatedly not to just judge people by their looks. The friends I had growing up and as an adult were usually eccentric by common standards, but I liked people with a wide range of interests and opinions. The boys and men I had dated prior to meeting Adam were not chosen for looks, but for the interesting people they were. A heavy-set kid with a rottenly hacked haircut who wanted to become an Army Ranger was absolutely the best dancer I've ever met, and we dated often because we had fun together. A young piano teacher with exquisite hands and a receding hairline, opening up a world unexplored in music. A short, stocky, acne-scarred, dark-haired guy with a gangster's attitude and a surprisingly romantic bent. In fact I tended to avoid really good looking men because too many of them were more concerned with their own looks than with the woman they were looking at.
Adam was just too much. I knew he wasn't 'my type', I knew that he had nothing in his background that was compatible to mine, I knew he was just too beautiful to be true. He was country music, I was classical. I loved dogs and cats and horses; he was afraid of dogs and horses and thought cats were dirty. I wanted a comfy, stable home full of light and laughter and children; he wanted a showplace crammed with possessions and no dirty little fingers smudging the finishes.
I deluded myself from the beginning that he wasn't that shallow, and that we could play and chat our way through any difficulty, that my love for him was enough, that his words of love were true, and that he would grow gladly as a human being as we ran hand in hand through life. I knew better, but instead of taking a cold shower and finding a good book to read, I chose to gaze into his eyes, and give myself up to drowning in his beauty. When it comes down to the wire, it is to be seen that he was more temptation than I could refuse; I just couldn't resist sampling and then immersing myself in pure sensory pleasure. All the other men before him had lost my interest after a while; once I could predict how they would act and what they would say, I was ready to move on. But with Adam, I really didn't care about content. The voice, the eyes, the shoulders, the taste...too much.
I don't even have any remorse for my choice, to accept his proposal of marriage the morning after we first made love. I cannot see any scenario, any dialog, any banner across the heavens that would have made me turn him down. All that beauty, that heart-wrenching splendor, all to be all mine? All. Mine. No way, wouldn't have happened.
And, then, wouldn't you know, he was a damned good lover, too. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Who could resist?
The sun glittered on my back, warming me. There was a tall evergreen tree in the middle of the meadow, and I made for it, banking to the left, and then abruptly to the right. I cupped my wings and reached for the top spire with my toes. The branch was flexible, and I had to waver my wings a little to keep a balanced foothold. My weight pulled the top spire down to the side and the branch and I bobbed gently up and down.
The wind was still chilly in my face as I looked over the meadow. Winter was leaving, but not gone yet. Gray granite boulders protruded from the low green and gold scrub grasses, reddish brown lichens with white speckles spattering them. The sky was empty and blue, as silent as a bowl placed over the world.
The ground seemed far. Will I fall? I thought. I crouched for the spring that would launch me into the air again, and the green branch bowed down even more. I spread my wings again and pushed the air as I sprang. The branch followed me up, giving me a bit more bounce. I caught the air underneath me with my wingstrokes and stretched, sailing on the invisible lines of the wind.
Flying dreams! Rare as they are for me, when I find myself in one, I just don't want to wake up. The sensation of lightness, the feel of the air, the suspension of belief in gravity, the reward of faith that anything can happen in dreams if you will it so.
A broom was my first aircraft when I was a child, in a fragmented dream that I was carrying a message? following someone? leading someone? I was riding rather side-saddle on this broom, and a sail was attached to the front of it. The idea was more or less that the broom was able to defy gravity, but the sail was what made it Go. Instinct in the dream took over, and I was able to raise the sail and bring it about in such a way that we began to sail forward, and my initial feeling of trepidation changed to sheer delight.
What a great dream for a kid! When I awoke I was laughing at the image of the broom-sail, and encouraged to think that flight was possible in dreams. Why not?
The trick is not in how you flap or sail, though you can do either. There doesn't have to be a vehicle involved. You don't have to have wings. What makes it work is that surge of faith that if you launch yourself outward and upward you won't be hurt. Faith the swell of the heart, faith the leap, faith the air that upholds. Faith in faith.
I married Adam in the full ceremony of the Church, vowing before God and Man that I would be his wife until death parted us. He agreed to let me drag him before the Altar of the Most High and offer our union there. In spite of the opposition of my parents to the wedding, in spite of the sadness and resignation that draped his mother's features, we wed before a Catholic congregation and priest, according to the requirements of my faith.