o you remember coming back from the long hike to the ruins, burning from the sun, to this beautiful room full of evening light, sheer mosquito netting and the Aztec sun orchids that adorned our room? My only flora, do you remember? We had a few cold Negra Modelos and you put lemons in yours, as you cared not for the yuppie lime. I always laughed at that. You were always so different than anyone I ever knew.
You laid the vase on the bed cradled in the pillows and just stared and stared. You told me you were looking at the ancient sun of Maya. And you wanted to sacrifice yourself to me. My question to you, my dove, was how will you do that? You said to me that I sacrifice my all to you, my love of the ruins, the Mayan culture, the photography, the painting, everything. You are my only love now, as I disavowed myself of everything I have ever learned. You will teach me what I need to know to have you love me so deeply.
As it was, the tears were streaming down my weathered face as I had been an investigator of ruins in the Mayan region for years. Palenque, Chichicastenango, Tulum, we had been to all the great ones, hadn't we, love, where the families used to share food and built latrines long before the arrival of the pinche killers of Los Indios. They were wise, those Mayans.
You told me not so kindly to not try and change the subject. You were giving your whole heart to me, and though I drank my beer and stared out the window, you could hear my tears splash like a waterfall in Palenque. You heard them, I know you did. I had a large mango in my throat and could not speak. You kept asking me what else you can give me. It was a night of selflessness from you. I had never witnessed such a thing. I finally cleared my blurry eyes and the mango shrunk until I could speak. I said to you, my Paloma, my only love, I will die on this spot with my old self if you change one thing. I love that which you paint and your photographs are memories from the Maya, now disappeared. You could take pictures in the jungle and their ancient, timeless faces would show through. I was again weeping at the sacrifices you were willing to make--sacrifices that would make us different, as it is you that I love, not what you will become or will give up for me. It is your heart I desire--only your heart. And your face shone brighter than the Aztec sun orchids I had concealed in the room before we left for the long hike. Your face was shining and not with tears. You were the sun that afternoon and I was the moon to your sun.
As you came to the realization that you were all I needed, I saw a wee tear and I knew you were just trying to make an old man feel loved by a lovely young lass, and that you did, that you did.
Copyright by Michael (Miguel) Forbus