We were sitting together and breathing a moment of
companionship, when you asked me,
'How goes it with you these days?
Are you a rich man or a poor man?'
'I'm not a rich man,' I replied, 'but I've known harder times,
so I can't say that I'm a poor man either.'
And you laughed like a pink balloon bobbing in the breeze.
'You misunderstood me,' you said,
'I meant are you rich or poor in my love?'
'Then I am a poor man,' I instantly replied.
'Only a poor man?' you uttered quizzically and raised your
thick black eyebrows to the top of your brow with disbelief.
Then in the instant of a flash, you dug your hand into my
chest and pulled out my heart, laying it
flat on your palm and opening it out like a book. You studied
it closely for a while before thrusting it before my eyes:
'See, just as I thought!' you quipped with open delight, 'it's
full of many things, but there's not even a hint of real love!'
For some reason your words did not disturb or alarm me.
Though their truth was undeniable,
I found them pleasant and satisfying, as if they had filled a
deep unknown need in me. I felt happy
and free, and 'at home' for the first time in my life. And I
thanked you for revealing to me the zero of my love.
'You appear to be pleased that your heart is empty
of any love for me,' you remarked.
'I am more than pleased,' I replied, 'in fact I feel very happy.
All these long years I have been continually
troubled and tormented whether I loved you or not,
but now you have freed me from all this worry and confusion.
Now I truly know that real love is a gift from God to man.
Now I can stand outside your door like a true beggar and cry out to you
with all my heart, 'Give me love, give me love, because I have none.'
'And you will not be able to bear to see me so naked and
one day you will give me some,
because you are Love and Love must love.
So why shouldn't I feel pleased!'
Then you wrapped your pink laughter around me
and for the shortest moment we floated as one balloon.