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Keeping the Romance Alive

tumblr_mskqdmKLlu1qk2vvro1_500 I'm debating whether I should go out tonight.

I stand outside of a shop texting my friend, tired, hungry, unsure whether I should buy groceries or go out.  She texts back 'You should come.' It's all I need to hear.  I walk to the wine store and write back 'I'm coming. I'm tired as hell. But I have wine and fancy olives.'

I jump on the U-bahn and start to think about how you have to work to keep the romance alive.  Even with your own life.  Like any relationship it's easy to be too tired, comfortable, insecure or afraid.  But we're rewarded when we make the effort.

We can hold back from experiences, taint them with our moods or paint them red with lust and excitement.  When we're in love we filter our vision and the world becomes beautiful.  I live for this feeling.  The thrill in the simplest things.  The rush.  The happiness. The glow.

But what if I apply this same attitude to my own life and relationship with myself?  What if I let myself fall in love with everyone?

I get off in the colorful Kreuzberg neighborhood as they are taking down the Turkish market. I walk past busy bars and bikes with lights on the front that glow in the night, the air surprisingly warm for Fall.

Eventually I find my friend and her two German girlfriends and we have one of those perfectly imperfect nights. When we find out we have to wait an hour for 1 euro tacos we enjoy the wine and olives on a park bench, passing swigs back and forth with oily hands.  When are finally seated we order as much food as our table can hold and wash down plates of crispy tortilla chips and tacos with sturdy margaritas.

Some nights are better than others.  Last night, in another effort to keep the romance alive, I took myself out on a date for a night cap.  I nervously ordered a heavy pour of sloe gin only to be told I was sitting in the owner's seat and was moved to the other end of the bar.  I drank quickly, told myself not to be embarrassed, puffed a Lucky Strike, took myself home and cried.  Mostly out of exhaustion.  A little out of loneliness.  Partly out of frustration with less than friendly service.

I wanted to blame the bar but realized that I was tired and tainting my own experience.  No relationship is perfect.  Even with myself.  I'll make up for it tonight with a long awaited quiet night in and much needed rest.

General, TravelGillian Young