The Professor was amused by the stir the gorgeous young woman caused at Roxy. And so was Roberto behind the counter. “Control yourself,” he advised his friend.
We were talking about love.
“You, my good friend,” the professor said, “are like a hunter in pursuit of prey. You are hungry. Thus serious and relentless.”
I nodded. “You might say that.”
“And hunting is an early Christian metaphor. Augustine described a devoted Christian soul's search for divine traces in the woods of the material world.”
I sipped my espresso. “Lately, though, it feels more like insanity,” I said.
“Have you heard anything from Vittoria?”
“Nothing since her last post saying she needs time.”
“You are right about it being like insanity,” he said. “But it’s certainly temporary. It can’t last forever. You’ll either win Vittoria or you won’t. Either way peace will eventually descend once again on you.”
“I hope so.”
“You are, I presume, documenting everything?”
“The act of putting your experience into words makes it a separate breathing thing on its own, apart from the so-called ‘reality’ from which it springs, don’t you think?”
“Therefore you needn’t struggle to keep it alive. Having been written it will do well enough on its own. Until tomorrow, that is. Then you’ll have to write more.”
The Professor said the madness of love is similar to the insanity of addiction. An addict is locked in a cycle of repeating behavior that always has the same bad or painful outcome, and yet he continues the behavior hoping that some other result will occur. The addict blinds himself to the futility of his actions.
Addiction, The Professor said, can be explained in terms of brain chemistry, endorphins, pleasure receptors. The madness of love, though, seems to fall into a different category.
“In a way it could be said that we seek not just love but rather a relationship with our elusive, invisible Creator. Without Him we know we are lost. This is one explanation for all the urgency and anxiety that we feel when in love.”
“So in other words, I’m not crazy after all.”
“We’re all crazy,” he said. “So why worry?”