carry me to love, carry me to life,
carry me to the arms of passion,
carry me home to the one I love...
country road, autumn road,
carry me, carry me all the way home.
“Is it because I’m white?”
The question caught me a bit off-guard, as indeed it was supposed to. “No,” I said, a little bit insulted, “you know better than that.”
She frowned…her mouth unconsciously forming the little girl pout on her woman’s mouth that I found so incredibly fetching that I had to look away…as she marshaled her next argument. There was no way I was going to get out this conversation unscathed.
“If you don’t love me, just say so,” she said finally, her dark brown eyes focused so powerfully on mine that I couldn’t turn away again if I tried.
I took a soft breath, sighing almost inaudibly, as I measured my own words. “I do love you, baby,” I replied truthfully. “How could I not love you? You’re smart…you’re funny…you’re giving and warm and caring…you’re so beautiful it takes my breath away…I’d have to be dead not to love you…”
“Because,” I said, cutting off the question she’d asked me a dozen times before, “I have a strict rule that I don’t get involved with anyone who doesn’t have a favorite Beatles song…and you, pretty girl, weren’t even born until years after the Beatles broke up…”
That was a new one and she sighed with exasperation and frowned. “I don’t care about that…I love you and you love me, what else matters?”
She was so magnificent in her anger that I wanted to pull her into my arms and hold her for the rest of our lives. “It matters that you’re 23 years old…and I’m not of a mind to steal your youth to get through my golden years…I’m not that guy.”
“It matters that you have so much living to do…to finish school…to find a job that excites and engages you…to find someone your own age to love and make babies with…so much to do…”
Tears began to pool in her dark eyes but she defiantly refused to let them fall. “I can do all those things with you…I want to do all those things with you!”
“Baby, I’m more than twice your age…I’ve lived a good portion of my life…I’m old and set in my ways and there’s no way in hell that I’m going let you tie yourself down to me…”
She shook her head and sighed. “I know why you call me “baby”…you’re trying to remind me that I’m “too young” for you…”
I smiled and reached out and stroked her cheek. “Partially,” I admitted, “but also because you are my baby…and because you like it when I call you that…”
She grinned and nuzzled against my hand. “You’re not getting rid of me this easily, old man,” she said resolutely. She surged into my arms and buried her head on my shoulder. “When you’re old and gray, I’ll push your wheelchair and make you oatmeal and love you still with all my heart.”
I closed my eyes and held her tight.
“’All You Need is Love’,” she whispered.
“My favorite Beatles song….’All You Need is Love’…wise words, don’t you think?”
I chuckled and kissed the top of her head. “There’s my girl.”
“Damn right,” she said, closing her eyes and relaxing unabashedly in our embrace.