Bus 262 slithers along hot curved roads. The Eucalyptus trees are fragrant and the blue skies are tainted with white smog on this Tuesday summer morning. Only 7am and the temperature suggests a bathing suit and a long day at the beach.
Inside the bus it's packed, but at least air-conditioned. The business men and women wear their summer outfits, hardly different from their winter outfits, as they head to their air-conditioned offices. A tired baby howls. Its attentive mother tries to comfort it, worried that something worse than heat distresses her child.
A few people are drinking cold Frappuccinos through straws. The bus smells like sunscreen.
The winding roads are slowly replaced by straight ones and the trees by houses and then buildings, followed finally by grey skyscrapers as the bus nears its destination.
A woman dressed in black sandals, a black skirt and a white flowing sleeveless top stands up to exit the bus at 7th Street, nearly the end of the line.
Her eyes are bright and she walks with confidence and a sway in her hips, a smile on her face.
"Morning Victoria" the receptionist says to her as she enters the building around the corner from the 7th Street bus stop, and she begins her work day.
On her way home, Victoria waits at the 7th Street bus stop on the opposite side, ready to do the morning commute in reverse. Her cell phone is buzzing. As she types in response, her smile widens.
She can't wait to get home.
As it turned out, the Siegfried look-alike was called Alexander. After trying to escape him that evening, I have spent the past five months doing just the opposite.
He's coming over right now. Actually he was supposed to be here at 8pm, so I guess he got hung up. He'll be here any minute, I'm sure.
I stopped reading romance novels and I stopped singing at the club. I am consumed by the addition of this beautiful human being to my life. Everything has changed since his blue eyes met mine. I am alive, electrified and emotional. Life has direction. I'm still working full-time as a secretary, but I dream about a life in a quaint suburban house, where I care for my blue-eyed children — baking and smiling, picking beautiful flowers for the dining table.
I feel immense love for Alex. We don't express a lot in words, but I love him deeply. I want to help him, I want to take care of him. I accept everything about him.
He's mysterious and he disappears, sometimes for weeks on end. I don't know where he goes nor what he is doing but when he returns, I read something disturbing in his eyes. We don't talk about it. I don't need to know what it is because I believe in love and I believe that I can heal his wounds.
When he is with me, his heart grows softer. He still guards something, but I feel him become vulnerable. I have faith that his absences are not to avoid me. I have faith that whatever he does in his absences is not immoral or bad. But I wish he wouldn't go away at all. Maybe I can convince him.
I have faith. I have love. I am love.
Love is a river.
Written by Liz Davinci and K.A. Laity
Listen to Pax Victoria here: https://lizdavinci.bandcamp.com/album/pax-victoria
Continue to "Downfall: Chapter 3 - Love disappears" here: https://www.lizdavinci.com/2020/11/11/downfall-chapter-3-love-disappears/
The abstract text about love accompanying the album trailer https://youtu.be/8pNTSgTZuH4 was written by K.A. Laity:
Love is a river. Dip your toe, wade in. Splash in the shallows of the brook. Does it feel too cold? Move downstream. Look for the sun-dappled ripples as the river gains power, flows over falls, rapids even, and find the exhilaration that fills the lapping curves of the stream. The excitement of splashing over rocks submerged—you hardly notice them—the foam and bubbles and wisps as the river cascades down. Gravity plays its part.
Broad rivers contain multitudes. They’re big enough for you. Big love, wide, generous. Love spreads and takes up room. The big river touches many shores, many banks and carries so many boats. Multitasking, always flowing: it has capacity. Love has a current that draws you in, let it do so.
Don’t stand on the shore watching it roll by: dive in! Let the river take you to new shores. Taste new lives, swirl in eddies, float in the sun.
Let it take you.
Let it carry you all the way to the ocean. The sea refuses no river. Sure you might get tangled in the swamps. Splash in the mud. Take your time.
But eventually the ocean welcomes you and then you know how the ocean is love, the ocean fills the globe and the ocean goes so deep that it comes back up as a fountain on that mountain and then it is the river.