Stella Darkely

Dialects of Light and Dark...

I want to feel at ease…
I want to feel at ease like the summer’s breeze
Wafting past the lakeshore
Disturbing my tussled hair
making you squint.
A ray of sunlight beams into your eyes
Green, turned almost aquamarine
By the water’s reflection.

Are you mine, my love?
Do you know me?
Can you see me?

Does love linger in your gaze,
Or merely longing for another’s warm embrace?
The solace of this summer’s breeze,
My small hands’ touch and breathy tease
as we kiss…

A listlessness washes over me
And I look at the hand upon my knee
That has traced every contour of this fragile body
Thought crashing upon thought –-
Waters are churning
My gut yearning for a reply that does not come…

Am I the only one that wonders?

“I love you,” you say
sweetly beneath the doze of heavy, hazy eyelids
a seagull’s cry, as if by cue

“I love you so much,” and
my heart surrenders
I do not need to understand.
It is enough –
This hot sun
The water
The wind
And my knee caressingly nestled
Beneath your strong, gentle hand.

© Stella Palikarova, May 25, 2010

Although it kind of shames me to admit it, I just finished watching season 14 (yes, I said 14) of The Bachelor. Jake, buff pilot extraordinaire chose vain, self-absorbed, rich and spoiled (did I mention, natural blond with all the stereotypical trimmings), 23-year-old Vienna. Vienna... like the Austrian capital that she probably knows zilch about. This is the girl who confessed, in her intro, to having mommy-baby days with her perfectly accessorized lapdog.

Jake is a 31-year-old pilot... this means, he has an education; he also clearly has a good up-bringing and seems to be able to carry on a conversation. In his final decision between Vienna and Tenley (a slightly less neurotic, older, though equally dull version of Malibu barbie Vienna), he sited the "heat" between Vienna and himself as the tie-breaker. I agree that sexual attraction is pivotal to a successful romantic relationship. Without that, you essentially have, at most, a deep friendship. But folks, doesn't sexual attraction sans the deep friendship amount to having a "fuck buddy"... not even. Buddy still implies a level of companionship extending beyond the bedroom, if only as far as to the kitchen for refueling.

I'm sorry to offend any Vienna fans - apparently she has a "heart of gold" - out there, but honestly, after watching this show for several weeks, I took Jake's final choice as a personal affront. It felt like a punch in the gut. Why is it that those girls get intelligent, handsome men, and women like myself attract men with the personality of dish-soap, looking like they just got out of a reform camp?

Okay... I know, I know. The Bachelor is only one of several "Reality TV" shows on the air that purports to let us into the "real" lives of some very questionable characters in completely fabricated scenarios, with a camera under their asses all day long. After a week of shooting, the director/editors come together to compile all of the most scandalous or vapid (take your pick) segments to come up with a 45 minute episode that will rack up ratings with their key demographic: single, slightly desperate, young women across North America, who have grown up dreaming and believing that one day they would find their Prince Charming... their man of all men, all live happily ever after. Yes, I will admit it, our Western culture still places great emphasis on the importance of finding your "soulmate". For those who want to haven't completely bought into it, I believe, there is still some small glimmer of hope deep down in each and every one of us that clings to the ideal of a revelation of everlasting love.

So, where does all of this leave me? I noticed a couple of seasons ago that they did take a Canadian girl onto the show that then went on to become the bachelorette -- Jillian. I'd like to apply for the bachelorette. Why not?... You get to get dressed up in ball gowns, are chauffeured around in expensive limousines and taken on luxurious dates with a handsome man. Not only that, I have a sheer curiosity to get a closer look at the inner workings of "reality TV," and really... I'm not that jaded. Perhaps, it can work! Perhaps the next bachelor is, or could be, my soulmate and I his... who is to say what can happen in this bizarre world that we live in? So, I think to myself: 'I should apply to be on the next bachelor' but of course, this would sound just a little bit ridiculous to anyone who knows me. The reason?

I am a chick in a chair.

As a woman, who just turned 30, I am nearing what our society would consider the last stretch of road in my life when is still considered acceptable, and reasonable, to get married and have a family. I'm not entirely sure if I'll ever want children but, ever since I was a little girl playing with Barbie and Ken, I have known that I wanted to, one day, find my prince, fall in love, and get married in a luxurious white gown. Of course, I no longer want a church wedding. I also no longer want a large wedding. I am very well aware that people who look like Barbie and Ken are anorexic and gay or metrosexual, and that also, unlike Barbie and Ken, human beings have nipples, genitals, and their hair isn't perfect all of the time, nor does it melt when you try to curl it. I used to make my dolls make out and even have sex! But, dolls that are consistently smiling can't purse their lips together for a proper kiss and it just looks ridiculous having their teeth gnash together during an entire make-out session.

Really, I never had any illusions about looking anything like Barbie -- I mean, even if I could walk, who wants to stand on their tippy toes all day long? Even ballerinas don't do this! I tried to make Barbie more interesting... sometimes she was a lawyer on a difficult case; sometimes a veterinarian or an aspiring actress. What I loved about Barbie was that she was always so well dressed and fashionable -- so many options. Why couldn't Barbie have beauty and brain, and be adored by all who know her? Why couldn't I, once I was all grown up?

Turns out the reason is because, someone like me, does not belong on a reality TV show that purports to help young, successful, attractive, single people find love. There was a Barbie made in a wheelchair with flat feet, not pointed, but it would be preposterous to believe that she could ever make it onto The Bachelor.

How would this work? How could a contestant in a wheelchair ever dance with the bachelor; go skydiving with him, or molest him in a hot tub? Would they have to stop the cameras just so that she could be lifted out of her chair onto the sofa in order to sit next to him? Or would they keep this part as a of the show for greater sensationalism value? All of these questions, of course, presuppose that a woman in a wheelchair -- even if she is intelligent, successful, and attractive -- would ever get chosen to be on the bachelor. She would not. I could get into detailed reasons as to why this is the case but the bottom line is that the bachelor would never choose her -- not in a million years. If Jake the pilot chose Vienna, the vapid blond bimbo, because he felt some sort of enigmatic "heat" with her the first time they kissed, upside down as they bungee jumped off of a bridge, how could a chick in the chair ever rival that?

He would feel heat all right -- heat whenever I run his foot over. So what is a woman like me supposed to make of this, and of our society? I would still love to be able to apply to be on The Bachelor, even if they chose me to go on for sheer "Jerry Springer" effect, I would do it. Why not? What really have I got to lose? I mean, if nothing else, it might point out how silly the construction of the show really is... how silly our materialistic evaluations of others are. I would go but, the fact remains: society is not ready for a bachelorette on wheels.