| 03.24.2018

Romeo at the art museum


They say that rules are meant to be broken. I”m here to tell you that this is not true, at least not when it comes to love and social conduct.

Thursday, I found myself in an art museum browsing the paintings on the walls, the sculptures, and statues lined along the halls, when I stumbled on a piece of art that beheld beauty in its purest form. She stood in front of a painting on the wall to the left of me.

She was not overtly tall, but stood up straight and her long, dark red hair was as grand as the red-wood trees of California. Her skin glowed like wet sand touched by the sun. Her aura gave the sensation of a soft ocean breeze wrapping my body in gentle comfort from across the room.

My heart punched and thrashed within my chest. I felt a lump forming around my Adam”s apple prohibiting me from speaking. This woman”s beauty was superior to any art. I was drawn to her. Before I knew it my feet led me beside her, gazing at the painting on the wall, in her presence, for what seemed like an hour. My breath was short and staccatoed, beads of sweat lined my forehead as I shared the experience of this painting beside her, longing to speak. After what felt like an hour within a minute, I choked up the confidence to speak to her.

“You”re beautiful,” I muttered under my breath.

“What?” She responded. Her voice was as soft and welcoming as I had imaged in my mind.

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“I mean, it”s beautiful,” I spit out fumbling over words to recover. She looked at me perplexed. That”s when I saw her eyes. Her vibrant evergreen eyes. I gazed into them and forgot about time for another moment. Her eyes displayed compassion. She unlocked my soul. Then she turned away. My insides churned and relaxed in the same beat. “The painting, it”s beautiful.” I explained, taking a breath of relief leaning into her consoling emanation.

“Yeah it”s my favorite,” she replied, her gaze fixed on the flourished canvas.

We stood there in silence. Enthralled by the painting. The art”s effect on our hearts enhanced by each others common gaze. Our curiosity was in accord. She turned to me and spoke. Her voice delicate like before.

“What”s your name?”

“What?” I replied.

“What”s your name?” She repeated kindly.

“Oh uhh “¦ Jairon,” I said with a grin. I quickly corrected to more neutral expression.

“That”s unique,” she said. “Do you know the origin of your name?”

“Yeah no, it”s uhh “¦ what”s yours? “¦ I don”t know I think my Grandpa?” I answered. She giggled and looked at me with puzzled interest.

“I”m Vienna. Like the city “¦ in Austria,” She added with a smile. I smiled back, showing more teeth than I would have liked.

“So are you Italian? I”m named after my grandfather I think. I think it”s Hebrew. I think somewhere down the line my family has Jewish decent. Like my Great Grandmother or something. Which would make my Grand Dad Jewish, but not necessarily my Dad. We never practiced Judaism in our home, but I mean our origins matter, right? Interesting to know at the least. Sort of self-defining yeah know? Even if you don”t know,” I sputtered out. I realized I was blubbering utter nonsense. She laughed at me. Her laugh was music. A symphony of the compassion in her eyes, and new traits to be discovered: joy, adventure, life, content. I was in love.

She is Juliet and I want nothing more than to be her Romeo. Two lovers brought together by the fate of nature, to love and find happiness in one another.

“I”m Austrian. I”m named after the capital of Austria. Where my Dad met my Mom. We aren”t super religious either “¦ nice to meet you Jairon.” She replied sweetly.

“Yeah, Nice to meet you Venice – I mean Vienna “¦ sorry.” She chuckled. And I was in love.

I stared into her green eyes and she gazed back into my dull brown portals wide in awe of her beauty. “What a piece of art,” I thought to myself. We stared into each other”s minds, gathering information through our locked eyes. I leaned further into her gaze and further until we were nearly face to face. I reached out my lips in a hopeful pucker, and stumbled, landing on hers, with a slap to the cheek instead of a kiss. I pressed my hand to my face now bright red and stinging and thought to myself talk about “holy palmer”s kiss.”

After all this I learned two things: I”m painfully awkward and rules are fun to break for the purpose of creative problem solving, but when it comes to the rules of love its best to follow the rules.

Kevin Douglas Neighbors can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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