“Speaking of New Zealand, I was hoping that you could help with my blog while I'm away. I have 90% of the content and will schedule those posts I have for publication before I go, but I still need a couple posts and someone to monitor things. What I'm looking for is a post on the three Friday's I'm gone: first Friday could be an introduction/ explanation that you will be the Man In Charge- and then, if you want, you can write more or leave it short and sweet. I thought it would be cool to have an Italy post and the third could about Josslyn's blog, or 750 words, acting...? I don't need anything too structured and I leave the final decision to you.” Michael
Well, dear readers of Fifty Book Quest, the request was simple, my intent was truly there but I have failed. Here I sit on the third Friday of the task and I have yet to write one single post. I was requested to do two, three at most and my words have failed me. So to make up for lost time...uh...posts here we go:
“Do you want to go sit over there for a bit?” I point down a dead end street running parallel to a quiet canal off the Piazza Barbaro in Venice, Italy.
“Sure, that sound’s perfect.” She leads the way as I guide her to the top step of a set of four that lead down into the water. She is fascinated that these steps found all over the city are the Venetian equivalent of a front door step, or rather the curb where instead of a beat up Ford one would find a motor boat.
I set down my camera and back back and sit next to her. I took a few moments to look around and take in the water, the sinking brick building across from us, the lapping of wake against the tied boats and then I say:
“Josslyn, remember when you flew from Los Angeles on my birthday to surprise me? Moments before you came up those stairs at Pacifico in New Haven I was telling David how badly I was falling in love with you. I was telling him how perfect you were for me and seemingly I was for you. The collective us seemed to be dare I say it, soul mates, who for years had been ships in the night with so many near misses. But that night I told him seconds before you tapped me on the shoulder, I am going to marry that girl David. She is perfect for me. Do you remember that moment, that rush when I realized that you were standing next to our table when I thought you were three thousand miles away? Well darling, I do not want to go on one day more without knowing that you will in fact marry me. I want to adventure with you, explore the world from the unknown dirt roads, the new restaurants in town, the tiny corners where nobody else goes. Will you do me the honor of being my wife? Josslyn, will you marry me?”
“Are you having fun? I uh, I just want to make sure you are okay. Um, so you know how last week I went back into your parents house? I, um. I, asked them for permission to ask you to marry me. I don’t want to go one more day on this trip not know that you will be my wife. Josslyn, will you marry me?”
WHAT? What came out of my bumbling mouth? I had it memorized, I had worked on those words for weeks. Heck, it had been all I was thinking about, and I lead with...ARE YOU HAVING FUN? Of course she is, she’s in VENICE. ITALY!
Here is the thing about Venice, every turn is an adventure, words echo off the sinking buildings and whisper away in the wind. You can feel the ghosts of the past at night walking with you, getting lost, getting drunk on wine and yelling into the stars. Venice is magic. Venice is neglected worn down beauty. It is a labyrinth of discovery, romance and suspended life. Time slips away there. Words linger, smiles stick. Love blooms, and for me, life starts.
When she said, “Yes, yes, yes of course” I could feel Monet, Hemingway and Casanova nod in approval. They were there with us. I felt the breath of love exhale from the collective conscience of Venetians come and gone. The wind picked up and took our joy from our lungs and spread the news across the water and into the world. That is what being in love in Venice feels like. We walked our arms chained together for what felt like hours, getting lost and reveling in our joy. We didn’t say a word to anyone else, but we just felt that everyone knew our news. That is what being in love in Venice feels like. We ate and we drank, we indulged in a cozy corner talking and laughing and somehow still learning about each other. That is what being in love in Venice feels like.
“Sure, that sound’s perfect.” She lead the way as I guided her to the top step of a set of four that lead down into the water.
Yes, perfect it was.
-Shawn (The Brother in Law)