Playground love - Olivia Bee
It’s ten o’clock. I’ve just come home after an action-packed day at the office followed by a lucrative production meeting which only served to make me love my business partner that much more.
As I walked home from where the donated cab ride ended, I knew two things; I wanted to sit on my terrace, and I wanted to smoke a cigarette. The former I do frequently, the latter not so much.
I fetched my dog from the main floor of my almost two hundred year old house, dropped off my things and took a pee break in my stifling attic apartment (would that the bedroom window would open!) and headed to the 7 eleven to satisfy my nearly-never craving. (Please note, I do not advocate smoking, but I was feeling nostalgic for Paris).
With Arthur in tow, I encountered a gigantic party in my neighbour’s yard, with a tent and blue lights, and now as I am typing this the exuberant strains of Punjabi music are the soundtrack to my perfect evening at The Fortress.
I’m lit by the blue glow of my lap top and a single beeswax pillar. I’m wearing a Japanese style robe procured from some unmentionable vintage shop and a pair of lacy red shorts. I’m sipping Perrier with a splash of Cassis and I am thanking every Deity from every pantheon for my unbearable sense of freedom.
My neigbourhood is alive with gardens, bursting forth in a riot of spring-ripened blossoms. Every ten paces is a fully-blooming lilac bush, and Arthur and I stop and drink in their heady scent. Each and every morning my life is put into perspective as I stroll through this familiar neighbourhood, and I am so, so grateful.
I won’t be taking a vacation this year. I will be looking to make some extra cash on the side. The bottom line is, I will not give up this freedom for anything. Nothing in all of the world is as important as this feeling.
(Cassis and Perrier is not an ideal combination, in case you were wondering.)
I’m thinking of a few select people who have touched me deeply in this last year of my life. I’m thinking of any of you who have borne witness to my metamorphosis, and my growth. I’m thinking of my girlfriends who are equal parts relieved that I left a very bad relationship, and worried that I will never experience their wedded bliss or child-bearing joy. I thank you all for your love, in whatever capacity you were able to give it. It has been fuel to my fire, and although I know my path has been one of seeking independence, I recognize that you cannot be truly independent without knowing that you can accept love when you need to.
We all need to.
Long have I maintained that I lead with my heart. Some of us lead with our head. Some of us from the gut. Or the elbow. All of us need to know we are loved, I don’t care how smart you are, or how many credentials you have earned. To say you don’t need someone to soothe you, or hold you, or cheer you on is ridiculous.
Accept love. I dare you. It’s incredibly difficult, and I know. Accept that you are deserving of love, and that people want to give it to you, whether it be platonic or otherwise, because they see the noble nature of your soul.
I’m not ready yet, but I will be. Perhaps after a languid summer of freedom, filled with experiments in charcoal grilling and the perfect Sangria. Perhaps after cottage trips that grow blurry in their re-telling. Soon I will be ready, I can smell it in the promise of summer that hangs in the breeze.
Will you be there when I am?