Today I am so pleased to welcome to Casa Zampa a fellow author I’m absolutely crazy about. Alan Chin.
I love Alan’s writing—his eloquent style, his emotional depth that somehow manages to be both painfully raw and beautifully delicate at the same time, and his big as life characters.
But I’m also gaga over the man himself, Alan Chin. As I’ve come to know him over time, I’ve often found myself smiling at his gentleness and his…gentlemanliness; but I’ve also seen his fierce side when he feels called to fight injustices.
I specifically requested him to share with us his thoughts on love. One thing I’ve enjoyed about him has been his tone and the obvious tenderness in his words when he speaks of his husband, Herman.
Lucky for us, he obliged. I’m sorry I was not able to post this last week, as that was Herman’s actual birthday, but Alan’s tribute to Herman is just as beautiful today as it was that day.
Have at thee, Alan…
Happy Birthday My Darling
Written by Alan Chin
Today is my husband’s birthday. Yes, I said husband. Herman and I were married the day after it became legal to wed same-sex couples in California. We are both the same age, 58, both the same build and coloring, and both still in love with each other after being together for seventeen years.
Tonight I am treating Herman to a romantic dinner (yes, even at our advanced age we still enjoy a little romance) at a tapas restaurant that sits only a block from the spot overlooking San Francisco Bay where we first pledged our love for each other.
I’ve been thinking about him all morning, like someone studying a flawless diamond from different angles to fully appreciate the beauty forever locked in the stone. And I’ve been thinking about our relationship, our affection for each other, and what it means to me. I freely admit I’m a romantic—notice I did not say hopeless romantic—but what I’ve discovered is that our love is still developing, moving toward a destination that is richer and more meaningful than what we have now. That is, our love is both growing and deepening as it moves toward an endpoint I have no clue about. Let me describe how I see this, and then determine for yourself if you think such a love is possible, or am I seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.
The affection I give this man is built on a foundation of consummate respect, and I know that it is unequivocally pure. Not that we don’t have our issues, our moments of bickering—we do. I’m talking of our love being pure, not the day-to-day expression of it. More than anything I want Herman to understand that I choose to spend the rest of my life with him because I want, need, simply to be with him each day, not because of social pressures or a piece of paper or to escape loneliness, but because he, more than anything, fills me with happiness. I feel that it is his companionship that gives me the strength and confidence to do all other things in my life.
Our love seems to subsist amongst us as a living, tangible thing, an unbelievable magic that we both know is possible because we occasionally touch its perfection. What we have is what you get when two people surrender completely to each other—a whole, a complete entity. Think about the concept of becoming whole: half of yourself does not cheat or injure or transgress the other half. There is no perception of being anything other than one being.
I know from analyzing my own feelings that what I say for me is true. I must admit I often find myself wondering if Herman feels as deeply as I do. Of course I like to think that he feels even more so, and that he is leading me down a path to that unknown destination I mentioned above.
So ask yourself, is such a love possible? Is it something you have experienced for yourself? Or should I have included the word ‘hopeless’ in front of the word ‘romantic’ above?
Novels: Island Song, The Lonely War, Match Maker, Butterfly's Child
Short Works: Haji's Exile, Simple Treasures
Screenplays: Daddy’s Money, Simple Treasures, Flying Solo