My nephew, Paul, is 20 today. My sister’s present to him was an invitation to the ballet, La Dame aux Camélias. This invitation was also extended to me, since my name is Camelia, and also since, as my sister believes, and perhaps rightly so, I am the hopeless romantic. I don’t know about the hopeless, but the romantic part is true. Paul said: ‘It’s all about sex and then about getting respectable.’ ‘Yes, yes,’ I said, ‘and then what? What about the forbidden, the forever love? The undying love? It’s all there, surely, for if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now’.

I like the ballet. It’s ever so simple. Defying a few laws of physics and then flying. Flying all the time. In and out of the impossible, the forever love, the love in gut, the love in the passion, the love in the bones, the love in the eyes, the love in the kiss, the love in the breath, the love in the toes, the love in the hand, the love in the flower.

Paul, happy birthday. May you find the forever love. May it find you.


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