It was a long time ago, my queer paradoxical ability to recall dates on a calendar fails me, when I made a comment to Sabina, who was not my companion yet. The comment in question was taken in the context of flirtation, which was not my fault. Odd, all things considered. It was only in a happy way. Completely innocent. Wholesome.
"I don't want to be your girlfriend," she said to me with a sly smile.
"All the better," I said. "I've done had girlfriends, and they suck. And not always in a happy way."
I have memory for those bits of dialog. Maybe it's a curse. Remembering dates, little details, and conversations. Sort of like I can recall every bully-boy buzzword uttered by any si lai nan jen, I have ever encountered, as an example.
"You're nothing," an oldie, but I reckon, as a classic, it doesn't go out of style, given I got called that within recent years. It was during one of my last break-ups.
To tell the truth, that's the insult I'll take as compliment. It's the Buddhist angle. The understanding of the concept of non-self.
Yeh? I'm nothing. And yet you're all kinds of hateful and resentful and making a big deal about it. About nothing. Dig it, you are making a big deal over me. Over nothing. Dwelling. You have given me all the power in all the world over you. Were I into slavery, I could say, and be spot on, I fucking own you. You're my bitch. How does that feel? My father would ask; who's stupid?
An amusing thought, but I digress...
At one point, some years later, Sabina, who was now my companion, and I were talking. About what, the details are fuzzy, but it hardly matters. In the midst of the conversation, she referred to herself as my girlfriend. My gaze locked on hers and I growled a little.
Yes, I know, better than most, but not as well as some, labels have only the power one gives them. Be that as it may, I have had girlfriends, been engaged, using that title, been married, therefore, having a wife. I have seen both the good and bad of those monikers, and I question if such titles are really for me.
"You told me you didn't want to be my girlfriend," I said.
"That was then," she said. "But we're dating now."
"We're not dating," I corrected. She gave me a look, which carried a bit of a pout.
"Seeing each other?"
"Obviously, given we're looking each other dead in the eyes."
"Mi amore," I said. "I have no doubt we are together. Bonded. But I have had my share of girlfriends. I've been betrothed and married. You don't need my stories to tell you how it played out." Then I reached out and took her hand. "You are my companion."
And it was said. See, I do not choose the monikers for those I know. The monikers choose them. Sometimes, it takes years, whilst others, it's upon the first glance. It is up to the individual to decide what the moniker means.
Upon utterance of her's, Sabina smiled. Soft and sweet. She wrapped her arms around me and gave me a deep kiss.
"'Companion,'" she repeated. "I like that. A companion is someone who travels with you on a journey."
"And we are on quite the journey, ain't we?" I asked her rhetorically. Her answer was a kiss in which the universe stopped to pay attention.
...Well, ain't we?...