Rain is good for romance. Walk through any city on a rainy day and you’re bound to see this: couples close and happy under a shared umbrella, one’s hand wrapped around the other’s on the handle. Or getting gloriously drenched together, usually grinning and soaking wet, the hell with an umbrella. Or head to head at small tables under outdoor cafe awnings. Pretending they stopped here to keep out of the rain, but really using the excuse to sit close together and touch a lot. Others enter a store laughing, laughing at their wetness, delighted about everything. They don’t want to buy anything; they’re just using this dry place as an intermission. A happy older couple across the restaurant helping each other dry off. They’re chatting animatedly for the first time in days, comparing notes about walking hand in hand through the storm to get here. They’re both famished now. Something about walking in the rain. They’ll eat like champions.
Days like these stay with you. A long time later you’ll ask— remember the crazy time we got caught in that storm? And their eyes will light up. Of course they remember. Guaranteed.
Rain is good for romance.
“Almost every time I go to this cafe in the late afternoon, I see the couple sitting at the same window table. They are both attractive, middle aged, and well dressed. The one really noticeable thing about them is the woman’s auburn red hair. I’m always pleased to see them because they appear to be genuinely content with each other’s company. They are almost always reading magazines or newspapers and drinking something. They rarely speak to each other but there is a peace around them, a balance you can almost physically see in certain couples. When one has finished with their reading material they automatically hand it to their partner. The other takes it without a word and lays it down on the seat between them. The person without the magazine drinks their coffee or looks out the window until the other is finished reading. Then they talk for a brief time, sometimes laughing quietly, always paying full attention to what is being said. They are like an island of tranquility in the middle of all the human rush. Seeing them, watching them, invariably makes me feel a little better.”—Jonathan Carroll
Forget that first kiss, the first sex, the first tears of misunderstanding, the first fight. Forget the first amazing gift from them that says they thought long and hard about you and what you love. Here is physical proof they tried as best they could to get you something concrete, in the hand- there that shows some of the intensity of their feeling for you.
Forget it. Forget it all.
The first great real intimacy between two people begins when secrets are told. The time you stole the money from the candy drive when you were a boy scout. The time you slept with your brother in law after their marriage dissolved. The lie you told your boss that changed everything and burned every bridge you had at the time. The secret about your parents you thought you would never, ever tell anyone.
But suddenly you do—to your new partner. No matter what happens to you two after that, they know these things now. You can never take them back. They have the goods on you and you on them. At that point your life together shifts on its axis permanently. You have begun to let them into your soul and often we don’t even know ourselves what the result of *that* will be.
“Obsession. I have always liked that word. The sound of it, what it means, and particularly its turbo boost effect on the heart rate when the object of our fascination is within reach. You can be obsessed with anything—a woman, a song, a wine, a breed of dog, a seaside bar in Mykonos, a moment in life you wish could be frozen in amber. Literally anything that instantly sets the desire ablaze and makes you want to swoop down and possess whatever it is RIGHT NOW forever. Obsession stands out like a tropical island in the everyday sea of same old/same old. If you are obsessed with something, it not only becomes the focus of your attention, but also a concrete clear goal to strive for in this very confusing life.”—Jonathan Carroll
“Nothing’s more intimate than sleeping together—not sex, nothing. You’re completely vulnerable. There’s an extraordinarily special trust and bond in the act of sleeping inches away from another person night after night.”— Jonathan Carroll, The Stolen Church
“Some people are defined by their job, or the damage they do, the children they have, the legacies they build, the way they see the world, or the way they trick the world into seeing them as other than they are.”—Jonathan Carroll