Going into Horton's tonight, I was almost intercepted by a heavy-set young woman storming toward the garbage to dump her drink.
I heard the young man driving the pick-up truck calling after her: "sorry, sorry, sorry."
Whatever he may have done to cause the problem and call for an apology was not what caught my attention.
It was his tone and the look on her face.
She had the power to make him miserable and intended to use it.
He was young and trim-looking with a late-model pick-up and this girl had him at her mercies.
By and large, the only way people gain that ownership of any us is that we hand it over. We make a bargain of some kind, and so often in the context of what is supposed to be love, comes the struggle for power. What is supposed to be a partnership too often becomes a contest for dominance, and the balance of power may shift from one to the other, with a consequent need for futher punishment for past indignities. We lose sight of why we got into the soup in the first place. That great old tune "Paradise by the dashboard Light" sums it up in the last few verses. "I would love you till the end of time. And now I'm prayin' for the end of time, cause if I gotta spend another minute with you...."
What happens to us? Why are we so determined to punish each other for our own choice of surrender?
I give you the power to hurt me in the belief that you will not.
It's an odd bargain in which the greatest minds of all time have still lost their way.
And having given that power, why is it so hard to take it back? We suffer as much torment from leaving as we do by staying. Crimes of passion are born from the fact that the higher mind cannot reason with the primal one.
While the energy poured into that turmoil may burn us, we feed on it at the same time.
I hand you a single rose, and as you take it, silvery strands wrap round your fingers and the contest of hearts and minds begins.