One night just before I graduated college, I got home late from an event or a function – I can’t recall which. My girlfriend at the time and her family were out of town, so I was taking care of her dog in my dorm room. Technically not allowed, but I’m a rebel. Especially when it comes to diabetic dogs.
Since I had been gone for most of the evening, I took the dog out to the front lawn so she could sit outside instead of inside for a while. She wasn’t a fan of moving. The energy of the campus matched that of the old dog; it was unusually dead for 2AM in the morning. There was no one around. It was peaceful and refreshingly breezy out.
I looked directly ahead to see a couple, arms wrapped around one another, walk into the light of a streetlamp. How sweet, so in love. They proceeded to cross the street, but soon gave up on the walking and stopped in their tracks. They began hugging quite passionately right in the middle of the street. Multiple grips and formations – no idea why they couldn’t just keep the hug simple. Then came the smooching and boy did it come. Holy jesus look at them go! The number of formations was quickly multiplied as new body parts entered into the equation.
Honestly, it really was a romantic moment. It was the middle of the night. They stood beneath only the dark sky, its stars, and the fading reach of the streetlight. It was only them, their loving kiss, and me watching from the shadows of the lawn with a dog that wasn’t mine. Good for them. But I couldn’t help but think, “They know what streets are for…right?”
Ahead of me, in the distance, a car turned onto the lovers’ street. As it approached, the rays of the car’s headlights illuminated the lovers. The necking did not decline. The lovers stood directly in the middle of the driver’s lane, oblivious to the car’s advances. It was a Mexican standoff between love and a 2004 Toyota Corolla. The kissing kept getting stronger and the headlights kept getting bigger; neither foe showed any sign of budging.
To my delight and the couple’s complete disregard, the car pulled right up behind them and stopped. And waited. Waited at least three or four entire moments (a very long time) as spit was swapped and tongues intertwined. The silhouette of two mashed up bodies trailed along the ground to my feet. Lights from the car flooded down around them, but they didn’t notice – they were in ecstasy, their own world, pure bliss.
I looked down at the dog. The dog looked up at me like, “Seriously? But, car!”
Against all odds, it began to look like love might win, when…
The horn lasted almost as long as the lovers’ ignorant embrace. They jumped about two feet in the air (a common hyperbolic expression indicating surprise), flinched apart from one another, seemingly forgot both which way they had been coming and the way they needed to go, and then finally crossed the street in the correct direction.
The car skidded out and I couldn’t help but notice a dent on its front bumper, which I can only hope was the result of a similar but more violent encounter with some other couple. Only lessons learned from another first hand experience could have encouraged such extreme patience.
The dog was barking, riled up from the horn. As the lovers passed, the dog’s bark seemed more and more an agreement with the horn, “You morons, watch where you’re going! Your love is a burden to everyone but yourselves!”