Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Love Couple

They are sitting at the dining room table, talking. Talking about the ups and downs of a relationship. The hard knocks. The soothing moments. The tension, and the good times.

He's holding the ceramic statue of a man and a woman embracing. He holds the Kish Sculpture while telling her how important the symbolism of the Love Couple is, for them.

This African art piece symbolizes commitment to each other at all times, the still-tied-on description-label reads.

The Love Couple is leaning into each other. Their bodies do not touch; the woman's and the man's right cheeks gently, yet firmly, press into each other, heads slightly bowed. Their arms cross at the elbow, on both sides of their bodies; each of them resting their hands on the other's hips. The couple is standing toe-to-toe.

She relates to the stance of the statue; she and her husband have embraced in a similar connection - time, and again.

She bought him the sculpture, as a truce, for an unnecessary argument they had had five-plus years ago.

Six months ago, when he was packing his personal things to take with him to his new job, on his new adventure, to his new place he now calls home she looked at the few cracks the statue owned.

She thought about how after she had given it to him he placed the Love Couple in the bay window, in the kitchen. A focal point. A simple, yet important gesture.

Several days later, as he was reaching for the cord to open the white slated blinds, his wrist grazed the sculpture; knocking it over, breaking off and chipping the top portion - namely, their heads. He handed it to her, his eyes wide as quarters. But, she didn't panic; she simply glued the pieces back together, as streamlined as possible.

So, later - much later - when she ever-so-carefully wrapped a white cotton t-shirt around the Love Couple and buried it underneath his small pile of clothing; in his suitcase, amongst the things he was packing, she lightly breathed the words, "This statue belongs with him; a reminder of us."

One of the consistent truths in their relationship has always, no matter what - good, bad, sad, happy - been their commitment to each other.

Now here they were, present time, in Arkansas, a day after another where-did-that-come-from?; that out-of-the-blue argument.

"Even the cracks are us, you and me, our relationship. Nothing is perfect. All we can do is move forward, fractures and all," he says as he looks at the Love Couple, at the hairline fissures it endured.

She nods, knowing that's all they can do. Move forward.

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