Rudy and I are sitting at the dining room table, talking. Talking about the ups and downs of a relationship. The hard knocks. The soothing moments. The tension, and the good times.
He’s holding the ceramic statue of a man and a woman embracing. Rudy holds the Kish Sculpture while telling me how important the symbolism of the Love Couple is, for them.
This African art piece symbolizes commitment to each other at all times, he reads off the still-tied-on description-label.
The Love Couple is leaning into each other. Their bodies do not touch, the woman’s and the man’s right cheeks gently, yet firmly, press into each other, heads slightly bowed. Their arms cross at the elbow, on both sides of their bodies, each of them resting their hands on the other’s hips. The couple is standing toe-to-toe.
I relate to the stance of the statue. Rudy and I have embraced in a similar connection – time, and again.
I had bought him the sculpture, as a truce, to get over an unnecessary argument we had had seven-plus years ago.
Now, much later, as we sit at the table, I peer at the few cracks the statue owns. Cracks from an unexpected fall.
I reminisce about how after I had given it to Rudy he placed the Love Couple in the bay window, in our kitchen. A focal point. A simple, yet important gesture.
Several days later, as he was reaching for the cord to open the white slated blinds, his wrist grazed the sculpture, knocking it over, breaking off and chipping the top portion – namely, their heads. Rudy handed it to me, his eyes wide. But, I didn’t panic. I simply glued the pieces back together, as streamlined as possible.
“Even the cracks are us, you and me, our relationship. Nothing is perfect. All we can do is move forward, fractures and all,” Rudy said as he looked at the Love Couple, at the hairline fissures it endured.
I nod, knowing that’s all we can do. Move forward.