Love in the Time of Colera – Redux

I know, that’s “cholera” as Gabriel Garcia Màrquez’ novel is titled in English. But as Nanda and ST will know, in Spanish thenword for the dread disease is the same as for rage as passion.
it’s been years since I read it, but the part that sticks in my mind, and is brought to the forefront by the present murrain and the drastic measures being taken to suppress it, is a river voyage during which Florentino, our protagonist, encounters Femina ((the eternal feminine?) with whom he has been in love forever. He’s been sick with love, and rage, passion (colera) all his life.
See, he was a carpenter and she was a lady. He never got near her. But he watched her, and she was always aware of him.

By the time they find themselves on this riverboat together, they are old. She’s a widow. He approaches and declares himself. She says she always knew of his passion. He asks her to undress and make love with him.”You won’t like it”,she says , but she does, and he does..

They bribe the captain to fly the yellow flag on the ship’s prow, the banner which means: cholera aboard. Plague ship. Cholera was indeed endemic in this place and time, and fatal. And they sail up and down the river, back and forth, docking nowhere, consummating their passion at leisure.

The way things are going with the government enjoining “social distance” to avoid Coronavirus contagion, I’m wondering if, soon, only remote dating will be allowed. Maybe even only virtual intercourse, where the couple exchange carefully screened bodily fluids by drone delivery and then, on date night, do with them what they will while contemplating each other’s Skyped images.

A quick trip to Wiki reminded me that there’s a lot more to Màrquez’ novel than this self-imposed lovers’ quarantine, and I can’t recount the rest of the plot. It was great: read it!

But, as under the stress of this present contagion we are increasingly enjoined from any intimate contact, I am finding pleasure in my memory of this vignette of two lovers, hard up against mortality, taking shelter in the lee of illness to consummate their lifelong passion.

To your health!

6 thoughts on “Love in the Time of Colera – Redux

  1. What no one wants to talk about we had sorted out one year ago last March if not sooner.

    Speaking of which, anyone else out there run the 4 x 440 relay in high school?

    Liked by 1 person

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