a little spot of sidewalk around the corner

2 April 2009

There is a teenage love affair blossoming on Kingston Road, half way up my morning walk to the transit loop at Victoria Park.  I first noticed it starting to grow out of a little spot of sidewalk, around the corner from a high school. 

One might have mistaken it for a random conversation between a girl and a boy, but the intentness and the pleasure in the conversation indicated that this meeting was not an accident.  No doubt one or both of them had engineered this “accidental” meeting at the little spot of sidewalk around the corner; that was plain in the body language that framed the conversation.

That two-way focus was palpable and what drew my attention to the thing.  Love affairs don’t grow out of idle chatter.  No – the tilt of her head, the genuineness of his smile, and the respectfulness in body language – all suggested something more than gossip about classmates or complaints about science homework.  This was a conversation about real things; about sharing “me” and learning about “you” and sharing a “something.”

Next day the blossom has taken stronger roots, for there they are at the same spot, and probably no one had to engineer any “accidental” meeting.  Shoulders and smiles more relaxed; conversation less tentative.

Today a further tending to this thing growing.  She stands a little closer, perhaps hoping for a touch.  His face conveying something akin to well disguised panic, perhaps wondering if he should institute that touch.  His face is more serious today, as if he is setting himself up for some perceived duty.

I imagine that tomorrow or next week I will find them leaning into one another, his one arm owning her waist above the plaid of her uniform skirt.  At that point she will look uncomfortable with the newness of this touch but also relieved and glad for the warmth of it. 

I wonder how long this blossom will continue to root itself at that bit of sidewalk around the corner from the school.  Something in me wants them to stay there and foster this innocence.  “Don’t move on” I want to say; “stay here and continue your love affair.  It’s a precious and fleeting gift.”

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