One of the things I love about work, besides the job itself, is the oftentimes meaningless banter that goes on as we break bread around the dining table, which, as you know, is the centre of the universe for firefighters. After a good meal in the belly and post dinner tea and we come up with some great conversations. For example, the other night we revisited the topic of the top five meatless sandwiches ever known to mankind. Then we talked about which team was the most deserving of the Euro Cup. And because my crew consists of many backgrounds, including an Irishman, a Welsh, an Italian/Spaniard, a German, a Cuban/Jamaican, and moi, you can imagine how heated the discussion became. So I am not exactly sure at what point the conversation switched to matters of the heart. Perhaps it was somewhere between the apple crumble and that second cup of tea. But the million dollar question came up: what is love? Trust me here folks. I wasn't the one who brought up the topic. Seems like I work with some sensitive new age guys which is fascinating in so many ways. You see, my entire crew is married. Happily. Granted, half of them are on their second marriages but they are happy after having sorted out the kinks in their first one. So since I was the only one who is soon to be un-married, well, I kept my ears open as to what they had to say about this thing called love. Can it even be defined? Is it something that you can see, feel, touch, or taste? Is it absolute? Conditional or unconditional depending on the circumstances? Does it tiptoe quietly towards you or does it smack you upside the head?
For me, I think love is or it isn't. It's there or it's not. And it's not regulated by time or space. Simple as that. It's also very different from that dangerous thing called infatuation. My mistake with love in marriage was that I think deep down, I believed that I was unworthy of love, thus always sold myself short, believing that I was the fuck up. But the truth is, I was just with the wrong person, and as such, I could never shine because the best wasn't brought out in me, which is a shame really. But I digress.... back to the knights of the round table and their ideas on this thing called love:
The guys had various answers, none of which were based on looks surprisingly. Rather it was how they felt around their other half and in a nutshell, these positive feelings of commonality, similar passions, trust, respect, friendship and physical intimacy were what ranked high among my crewmates. Out of respect for their privacy, I won't divulge the exact details of their personal experiences of love, but I will leave you with this: the overall concensus for the perfect firehall meatless sandwich would be the good old peanut butter foldover. A sliced banana jammed between the former would fall a close second. ;)