This is a story about a girl – let’s call her Beauty – who falls in love with a guy. Let’s call the guy Vincent (if you see what I did there you were born around the mid-eighties or earlier). Beauty did not walk into love, she was not lured into love, she more or less collapsed into it – hills, corset, pink hair bow and all.
Vincent is however a beast. On the outside Vincent is prince charming. Fair amount of success for a guy his age, above average looks, mildly cultured and if he needs to, he can be thoroughly regal. He has every trait of prince charming but, he has no soul. He is unfeeling and emotionless. That feeling once in a while churns Beauty’s blood, her heart races and her knees become weak. She thinks he’s the strong-silent type or that he’s ‘a wild one’, a troubled soul looking to be healed.
Vincent likes Beauty, for her bootie and not much else after that. This destroys beauty, from the inside out, she reads those social media memes that say things like “If you love until it hurts there can be no more hurt, just love.” This is her mantra and she’s determined to go by it. Love Vincent until he knows he’s loved and starts to return the love.
Vincent has had many relationships before. The heartache and disappointments of those relationships have made him impervious to emotion. A beast does not know that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to being a beast, the less he knows it. And surely he has turned into a beast.
A beast does not know that he is a beast, and the nearer a man gets to being a beast, the less he knows it.
Beauty soon realizes that “the will is a beast of burden. If good mounts it, it wishes and goes as good wills; if evil mounts it, it wishes and goes as evil wills; Nor can it choose its rider… the riders contend for its possession.” After all the waiting Beauty discovers she cannot change Vincent. Vincent moves by his own will, and that rudder is stuck in its place.
Beauty will however not leave Vincent for when she heard her first love story she started looking for him, not knowing that lovers don’t meet. They are in each other all along. She’s stuck on him. Contrary to most fairy tales: in real life, the frog once kissed does not become a handsome prince, he wallows more in his frogness. The Beast does not turn into a handsome prince either.
Real life is more like ‘Shrek’ the movie where the beautiful princess kisses the ogre and turns into a beast instead of the reverse. Beauty will become more like Vincent. She will become dead inside too. Then Vincent will remember what he saw in her. Not booty, it was Beauty. When a man is treated like a Beast, he says, ‘I am human.’ When he behaves like a Beast, he says ‘After all, I’m only human.’ He will try to change a little but by that time Beauty will be in love with the Beast, not Vincent.
Vincent will remember that he’s only human and does not deserve to be with a she-beast. That’s how that relationship ends. You learn that in real life there’s nothing as futile as trying to change someone to fit you and the only thing worse is changing yourself to fit in with someone. Like Khalil Gibran says:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Oh by the way, if you did not get the Vincent name “Beauty and The Beast” is a mid-eighties American TV series but with typical third world problems, we watched it in Kenya in the early nineties. If you did not watch it you were stuck on KBC.