Yesterday was a challenging day. I spent most of it in shuttles, at airports and waiting for planes. I took a flight from NYC to Chicago that took almost as long as the flight from London. The only notable mention was my encounter with an airport shuttle driver, who feeling country united us, launched into a fascinating and frank account of his failed love life.
For the length of the 45 minute journey, *Alberto* recounted in reverse taxicab confessional manner, all the intimate details of his affairs, not hindered by traffic, noonday heat, or my uncomfortable silence.
It didn’t help that every story ended up the same way, with all his girlfriends and ex-wives screwing him over and taking all his money. Woman after woman, they came bursting into his life, uttering promises of eternal devotion. But they ended up leaving him heartbroken, moneyless, furnitureless and on one occasion, even stripped of his toothbrush and shaving gear. Wife number 1 took his kids and the dog. Wife number 2, stole his business partner, antique watch and credit cards. Wife number 3 took his life’s saving and most of the furniture, including the carpets, which she stripped off while he was at work.
Alberto seemed to equate true love with financial co-dependency, and not his kids, his friends, or even his bank manager could deter him from this foolishness. An entire lifetime of scrimping, working and saving, and he had repeatedly and willingly sacrificed it all, in the hopes of finding a person worthy of sharing it with.
At the moment of this blog, the jury was still out on Alberto’s current live-in, Carla. The exchange of romantic words were not even out of their mouths, before he was running down to the bank to set-up yet another joint bank account.
But how do you know this one is different?” I asked, when he told me that Carla spent a good portion of the year visiting her good-for-nothing parasitic ex in Ecuador just so he’d agree to sign her divorce papers.
Aren’t you worried she will end up like all the others?
Alberto gave me an incredulous look. Listen, it has been four happy years so far and she has never taken one single penny more than she deserves. She tells me she loves me for who I am, he said, with all the pride and conviction of a die-hard romantic.
Sucker for love or totally raging idiot? It all amounts to the same thing. Despite my cynicism, I find myself hoping Alberto finds what he’s looking for.