Sunday, March 16, 2014

NEW AND IMPROVED: Love Under the Ellipsis

When I was a girl, love—but mostly S-E-X—remained hidden beneath an ellipsis of ink. The hero in all the books swooped in to take the girl in his arms. She forgot to struggle long enough to stay. And then . . . (dot, dot, dot).

It was the most delicious, tantalizing punctuation in all of literature, marking the dog-eared pages, full of anticipation and imagination.

Now? Not so much.

In today’s world, romance isn’t for the faint of heart or the subtle of gesture. The girls have no clothes on, and the boys don’t wear gloves, which is too bad because once upon a time (according to Jane Austen) when a man touched a woman’s naked hand with his naked hand they were engaged. I know it’s true. I watch a lot of Masterpiece Theater.

I’m happy to report that at our cave . . . er . . . um . . . I mean house, at our house, romance is still something of a mystery, surrounded by subtleties, covered with the gentle breeze of confusion, wrapped up in code words.

Smiling, I walked into my husband’s office recently, only to greeted with the following invitation (quite possibly threat, the jury is still out.)

Without lifting his head from the flickering light of his computer screen, he said, “Careful or I’ll take you over there on that tofu and . . . (dot, dot, dot.)

Confused and a little alarmed I scanned our office and saw bookshelves stuffed with books, filing cabinets stuffed with papers, computer junk stuffed everywhere, and pillows lined up like soldiers on . . . the futon.

“Are you trying to say futon? You’re going to take me over there on the futon? Because I can’t begin to describe to you how disturbed I am by the idea of you doing unspeakable things to my person on TOFU. Maybe you’re having word seizures or . . .”

“I’m not having Caesars or . . .”

“Not Caesars, you goof ball,” I said.

At this point in the discussion, he removed one glove and stretched out a naked hand towards my person and in the general direction of the futon.

I ran and then . . . (dot, dot, dot.)

Sometimes in dreams I imagine long fingers of mist rolling across the moors behind the swamp in our back pasture, out past the horse trailer with the busted tail light, while the moon drifts across a jaundiced sky, and my heart thumps loudly in the silent chambers of my heart, as I hide under the long folding couch resembling a bent bed, and into the cloying depths of my dreaming night, I hear Lord Sherwood hissing, “Let’s get it on.”


One minute you’re a lady wearing gloves and the next minute he’s got you on TOFU and . . . (dot, dot, dot.)

Linda (Lady Dainty) Zern

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