What’s Luv Got to Do With It?

“There he is.”
“HIM. Lamont.”
“LAMONT??? Lamont’s the one?”
“Well, yeah. Isn’t he gorgeous with his beautiful, long tail, his shimmering scales, just EVERYTHING?”
“You’re a guppy.”
“I know, but I have my points, right? This slender band of neon going down my sides? Those fetching little dots that set off the grayish yellow of my scales?”
“It’s not just that, Lilliana. He’s a BETTA. I don’t think you understand how this can work. There are substantial differences between you. If you come together…”
“Love conquers all.”
“No. It doesn’t. Even if Lamont loved you — and I doubt he ever knows you exist — love wouldn’t ‘conquer all’. He’s a BETTA? Remember?”
“He’ll eat you.”
“It’s his NATURE.”
“He doesn’t even know me.”
‘ARGGGGH.” Her friend desperately wanted to slap herself on the forehead with her hand in frustration but being also a guppy had neither hand nor forehead. She slapped the water instead. “If you’re anything to him, you’re food.”
“Maybe not.”
“So do we.”
“It really is not the same, honey. Believe me. Come on. We haven’t had an adventure in a while. Let’s go see what’s going on with that anachronistic replica of a buried treasure chest in the bottom of our tank.”
“Nothing ever happens there. I don’t know how it even got there.”
“No, neither do I. We could go talk to Yoda the snail.”
“With Yoda talk interesting not is. Don’t you get it? I’m in LOVE!!!!”
“So there’s no reasoning with you? If you ever meet Lamont, well, the meeting will last a second, if that long, and he’ll be looking around for another guppy.”
“Why, if he has me?”
“I think you should just be grateful that he’s in another world; sure, we can see him, but he can’t get to you and you can’t get to him.”
“I can’t? But I can see him as clearly as I see you!”
“You’d have to get out of here, pull yourself across about twelve-large guppy lengths of that strange flat surface, somehow manage to get into Lamont’s world, and you’d have to do this without dying.”
“You’re insane. I can see him, right there. Here’s right there, looking at me longingly with his dreamy eyes.”
“He’s HUNGRY.”

There are a lot of ways this could go. One, Lilliana could attempt the great escape. Leap from the tank, land on the table, attempt the journey to Lamont’s tank, an adventure comparable to an oxygenless climb of a Himalayn Peak without sponsors. She could reach the tank and scale the tank walls if she weren’t a slippery, oxygen deprived fish  and could get some traction. If she managed it, she would teeter momentarily on the edge of Lamont’s reality before she either died in the attempt or fell into a world she could not  (would not?) possibly have imagined. Lamont would — as she hoped — be delighted to see her. If she were still alive at that moment, she would believe it was because his feelings for her were the same as her feelings for him. They would meet in a passionate and joyful moment, each experiencing completely different passions and different joys. Lilliana would be then lost in Lamont.

Students would, in future years, ponder this story. Dissertations would be written. Some would quote poets, some would do a feminist analysis. Some would show Lilliana’s friend as a true friend, some as a saboteur of dreams. Some would say the outcome is irrelevant; even if Lilliana were killed and eaten by her love, she would still have loved and love is all. Others would say that dying in the midst of fulfilling ones dream is a great life. Over time, the important remarks made by Lilliana’s friend, such as, “Lamont is a BETTA,” would be forgotten and all that would remain would be the echo of Lilliana’s hopeless passion.


P.S. In answer to the prompt, my first crush was on my Uncle Hank. This lasted for 57 years, until he died last year at age 93. He was handsome, kind, generous, funny. Not all crushes are romantic. I think they can also be instinctive appreciation and admiration for another person. In a little kid, maybe it’s seeing in that mysterious adult something of what they know a grown up should be. Anyway, I’m grateful I got to know my Uncle Hank when I was also a grown up person and that I got to share so many experiences with him throughout my life. I’m grateful that in the end, we were friends, actually, “buddies.”