MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE | Michael Estabrook I’m listening to Bob Dylan. “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet. But I would never do you wrong.” And I tear up like I always do during this song. I think back to college when you figured it might be a good idea to date other guys to be sure I was the right one for you. “Maybe it will help us solve our little problems and strengthen our faith even more,” you wrote to me. I think how grateful I am that you never found anyone else, never found another guy you wanted to be with, never set me up with any rivals to compete with and fend off. For surely I would have fought to the death for you (I did fight for you, in fact.) and I would have won too. I wanted you more than anything back then, as I do still now. I wanted you more than the Earth wants the Moon, needed you more than the Stars need the Sky. From our very first date (and I think even before that) I simply had to have you. Nevertheless, I am so very glad there were no rivals for me to contend with, so very glad. But were there really no rivals, I wonder? Was there someone else deep in our history whom I have overlooked, another rival I am simply unaware of? “I never had any rivals for your attention and affections when we were back in college did I?” You look up at me from the kitchen sink, your soft brown eyes shining. “No. Should you have?” you respond. “What? No, of course not. I didn’t need any rivals to keep me interested and honest, to keep me in the chase.” You smile. “No. No rivals My Love. It’s always been only you.” I’m relieved like I always am when I hear the answers I want to hear to the questions I already know the answers to but need to ask anyway. No rivals for my beauty’s tenderness, it was only me, what a marvelous thing. But come to think of it I did have rivals. Not one rival or two, but a whole bunch of them, a multi-headed pack of rivals, a hideous male Medusa of rivals – all of your damn college boy friends, the guys you talked with and studied with, the guys who walked you to classes and told you you had pretty eyes, Ralph and Don, Larry and Steve, and all those lousy bastards in your Math classes and the Senate who you flirted with and told me stories about. “Don’t give a second thought to my seeing or studying with Don. He lost his academic scholarship . . .” Yes, they were all my rivals and you used them constantly to your advantage (clever girl), to make me jealous, to keep me alert, vigilant, attentive, to remind me that you had your options should I even think about anyone else, to keep me focused on only you, and – it worked, of course it worked. “I’ve known it from the moment that we met, no doubt in my mind where you belong.” That Bob Dylan, always having the right words for everything.