Friday, February 13, 2009

Who's your patron?

With a melodramatic, pre-Victorian feeling I want to believe that the greatest loves are left unspoken, invisible and trembling. The deeper one love goes the less stamps of existence it needs. It is at the surface of feelings that couples feel the urge to decorate their relations with red ribbons and red roses and red underwear - completely unhygienic as they have 0% cotton. And teddy bears. Why on earth teddy bears? I have cable TV. I watch the Animal Planet. And believe me, romance is not what you see in the mating of bears.

Mr. Santa Valentine is a fraud. He is even worse that Santa Claus. If you can believe that. First of all he was not one and only saint person. History wants it there to have been a number of Valentines, saints, semi-saints, wanna be saints, decadent saints, all from different parts of the globe and of the time. And the story gets even worse if you take into account that there is not one single written proof, not even a legend, none, zero, nada, niente supporting his employment as saint patron of love.

February 14th, the day consecrated to the enormous event of falling in love with another human being (or in the most cases falling in love with love and all its garnishes and decorations) has an architect. It is Geoffrey Chaucer the father of English literature, and as such a man of a great imagination. Our old friend Geoffrey chose Saint Valentine to protect the marriage of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia in a poem of his. Guess what! This imaginary wedding took place on February 14th! Valentine the saint patron of love? BUSTED!

Unlike lovers who are left to march into the unknown armed with ….. nothing, travellers can address all their requests and prayers to an original saint and protector: Saint Christopher. A third century backpacker, who wandered the world in search of novelty and adventure. In one of his trips he carried a small child across a stream. The weight of the child was enormous, and it turned out that it was Christ who was so heavy because he bore the weight of the world on himself. How cool is that?!

I am turning to the sympathetic ear of Saint Christopher and whisper: "Dear Saint, get me cheap tickets to Kathmandu. I have a budget of 1000 € and everything I find is far beyond that". "Dear Saint Christopher I am flying in a week’s time. Please protect both engines of the plane, keep turbulences at the minimum required level and please please please prevent any lunch with fish and Brussels sprouts.”

I am inviting all the travellers of the world to honour their saint patron on the 9th of May. Let’s economize the money we have put aside for Valentine's day. Lingerie won't take us further than a smelly exchange of liquids. Let's look the ones we love straight in the eyes and say: "I want to travel with you. I want to buy tickets with you, make a suitcase with you, catch a train with you, miss a train with you, buy souvenir pencils with you at a price that will make us suspicious that someone tricked us with the currency exchange rate".
I will keep a faith in Saint Christopher and turn a scorning smile at Saint Valentine.
I choose the love that goes beyond the four walls of a bedroom.
Saint Valentine versus Saint Christopher: 0-1.