Love on the Brain
by Kiersten Hallie Krum
I’m watching the telecast of the Academy Awards as I stew over the fact that I have no topic in mind for this week’s post. Despite my well-known love for movies and TV shows, I’m burnt out on awards ceremonies. And yet I can’t help myself from being pulled in every year to the beauty and the glam and puzzling, ever puzzling, at what very unglamorous moments might lurk beneath that shine. Ellen Degeneres just preened about crashing Twitter with the billion retweets of the selfie she took with, among others, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie. She also had a pizza delivery guy passing out slices to hungry A-listers. Meanwhile, Russia is invading the Ukraine, in case perspective felt lacking.
At the moment, I don’t have a lot of sexy on the brain despite the gorgeous people on my screen. There’s been family drama this week surrounding my grandfather who, at 96, is still my youngest living grandparent. My nana, my father’s mother, turned 101 this past January, which basically means good or bad, I’m gonna be around a helluva long time.
Despite his comparative youth, my grandfather had a health crisis last week and that meant surgery and hospitals and the many unpleasant, frightening, practical stuff that comes with life and aging. So the sexy is far from mind right now. But I do have love on the brain.
When my grandmother died six years ago, I had a rare front row seat to the demonstrative love my staid grandfather poured on her in the months leading up to her death. Not hearts and flowers or poetry or dramatic gestures. But the enduring, solid reality of committed love. He never left her side. At one point during a breathing crisis when I was certain I was watching her take her last breaths, he held her hands, stared into her eyes, and I swear he breathed for her until the crisis passed. Eight months after her death, his voice broke with sobs when I called to tell him my mother was near death from a bacteria infection. He sat on the other side of her ICU room from me and together we silently stood guard over my mother throughout that first night from the time my aunt and uncle arrived with him from Philadelphia around 11 until my sister came from Arizona the next morning. Every time I looked up he was there, watching her. Watching me. It was days later when I found out he’d tripped and fallen on his small patio earlier that day, which was how he’d come by the facial bruises and bloody nose he’d dismissed to me as “nothing”. He was 90 years old that year.
Here at Lady Smut, we talk a lot about heroes and heroines. We admire cut bodies and heroic gestures too broad and extreme to be understandable in the common world. We elevate real-life heroes too, those men and women who go to war or police our streets or run into fiery buildings instead of out of them, for example. We claim and celebrate our sexuality and the many joys to be found with it. Many of my fellow contributors write erotic romances novels; I write my own steamy level of romantic suspense. We dig the sexy hard. But our stories are not about the sex—not only about the sex, I should say—because that would be boring. We write about love, perhaps in its most dramatic and heighten sense, but love nonetheless and often in many forms. Because love isn’t only romance and sex; it isn’t so limited. It is endlessly complex and varied and incomprehensible. Love is all this and more.
Love is the best story.
Follow Lady Smut. We’ve got a lotta love to give ya.