We were in a fort, surrounded by cushion-y pillows, flat screens of different sizes and sorts (everything is flat these days!), soft blankets, music for a bit of magic, and candlelight for just the right touch of drama. On one side of the loft, a big bed neatly made laid empty. On the other side, big glass windows cut only by tiny streams of light coming from the white blinds that always lead my gaze to set on that painted wall. On that mural, a peacock and two birds sat perched on a dried-up rose bush, accompanied by some sort of white car on the left side. In front of the innocent mural was the painted red face of a devil missing one tooth, and to the right of that, a painting of some sort of colorful building.
Smack in the middle of luxury and poverty we laid as hedonists, wine in hand, glossy eyed from too much happiness. The lights outside caught my attention, as they always do, and there I laid looking at the mural, wondering again why the peacock was hanging out with the birds, whether the birds were in love, and why the hell was that devil missing one tooth? Before I could answer all these (then) very important philosophical questions, I saw them…
It looked like a him, the shape I saw covered in lawyers of dirty clothing. I could’ve sworn I saw a beard too. He laid on his side, one arm swung over the shape that laid next to him. His love. Under the street light, on the cold pavement, they laid together, embraced, with nothing between them and only each other to hold.
I could not believe what I was seeing. I laid there surrounded by luxuries I did not need and saw two lovers across the street show me that all they had was love, and all of that was more than enough. I saw them not just as two homeless people sleeping on the street but rather two people in love, who had a story to share. Two people who got the most important thing right where most others go wrong.
I wondered how they got to this point: had they been in love for long? And how did they lose everything but still managed to hold on to each other? Did they ever play into the capitalist nature of our society or did they just throw the pressure to the wind and lived their days making their love grow and blossom? I did not know, I was not going to ask, and in the end, it did not really matter. Laying on the cold pavement that night, none of the few belongings they had with them had much importance. They were still holding on to each other.
It was the most beautiful and sad thing I have ever seen in my life.
So I laid there, fingers widening out the blinds, with tears in my eyes. I was hypnotized by all the love I saw across the street, sprawled across the cold concrete, mixed in with drunks that walked by and stumbled from nearby cabs. All they needed, in the whole entire world, they were holding right there in their arms that night.
Simple, honest, beautiful.
I told myself that I was lucky for seeing those two homeless lovers that night, across the comfort of the man-made fort with the boy. I was lucky for having seen so much love, and in turn, for having been reminded by the Universe that the greatest gift each one of us can have is the true, honest love of another.
On that night, and on all the nights to come, two homeless people out in the world found a home in each other.
And that’s what love is-