It takes a long time to become young.

A guitarist had an affair with a pianist, an older woman who understood him in ways that his current companion couldn’t. When he told this companion he was leaving her, she asked for counselling, and he agreed because he felt he owed her that. Within a number of weeks, she was pregnant. He stayed with her, for the sake of their child, but I wonder how often he thinks about the pianist.

Another man had an affair with his wife’s friend, who was also his daughter’s teacher. He convinced his lover he would leave his wife but ultimately changed his mind. She then rang his wife to tell her as much.

Finally, a third man I know is single and in a long-term relationship with a married woman. They live in a very small town and are very public about their relationship–everyone knows her as his girlfriend–and yet she lives with her husband and is still married to him.

The other night, I thought about these men, previously described as ‘sensible’, whatever that means. The heart wants what the heart wants but in following it blindly, what do we risk?

Pablo Picasso said, ‘It takes a long time to become young.’ To me, this is what the heart really wants. Or rather, to feel the exhilaration of a leap into the unknown, in spite of any consequences. There’s never a bad time for that… or is there?

© M. E. Walsh

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