When I was in high school, I had a tremendous crush (one of many) on a boy many years my senior. When he went away to college, I would dream of him. When he would return for holidays, I would watch him from the balcony at church, willing him to turn around and meet my gaze.
By the time that I had bloomed and aged past the legal limit, he had graduated from medical school. Home while looking for jobs, he took an interest in me for the first time. He invited me to a fancy apartment on 5th Avenue for a party, and I went. Afterwards, we walked through the Central Park, late at night, and kissed for a few hours. After that, I completely lost interest in him. He was balding, he was maudlin. I had grown out of him. And I never spoke to him again.
So my moment in a city park wasn’t quite like Irene’s with her lover Bosinney, right before his tragic death:
"Now he stood still on the rise overlooking the Serpentine, where, in full lamp-light, black against the silver water, sat a couple who never moved, the woman’s face buried on the man’s neck—a single form, like a carved emblem of passion, silent and unashamed."
Oh Irene, for having a moment of such classic love, embowered and still under the mist and darkness of a city park.
For sitting within the reach of the lamp lights, burning like little orbs, casting a truly Victorian light over the atmosphere. For living in a time when all of this was meant to happen- the stolen kiss, the long embrace, the restraint, the chaste meeting in the park. For failed loves, for your inexcusable draw, for the rustling of chestnut trees, and for the romance of nature cowered by concrete, Irene Forsyte, you’re my icon of the week.