Almost a two months ago, grundoon had this Tell me of the nature of love 100-word challenge. I tried and tried to come up with something, only to rip it up, crumple it in to a wad and toss it in the trash. As I read the entries in that node, I figured it was a good idea to quit while I was ahead. Each one struck a crystalline note or an ambient chord.


A while later I thought about it some more. Without getting too sappy or deep, there's all sorts of natures of love between all sorts of people. Some are unknown until you actually meet the person who is the object of that love. More often than not wrapping this love in words is like grabbing a meth-head anaconda in a pool of baby oil, no matter how eloquent we are.

Sometimes you have to rely on cartoons.

SweetFaceBoy and I were watching the Justice League, sprawled on the couch, lights off, everyone else in the house either gone or asleep. It was the two-parter with Aquaman where he is double-crossed and all land-based humans are threatened with potential drowning. (OK -- if you must know it was a Season One episode titled The Enemy Below.)

Anyway, in Part II Aquaman has to rescue his infant son from certain death by being crushed beneath an undersea mountain. However, Aquaman has his arms bolted to a rock. He manages to break one arm free. The other one won't budge. He sees his baby screaming, sliding toward oblivion. Then he sees a knife.

Cut to a Superman and Martian Manhunter scene.

A few scenes later we see Aquaman carrying his baby in to his palace, ready to open up the whoop-ass on the baddies. However, he needs medical attention because he cut part of his arm off to save his child.

Villians are vanquished and the world is at peace once again.

At the end SweetFaceBoy said, "That would never happen."

"What would never happen?"

"Someone cut their hand off to save someone else."

I sat up. "You don't think so?"


"Look at me."

He shifted around, sitting cross-legged on the couch. I put on my non-cartoon-watching face and adjusted my Dad-voice.

"If you were in any danger, any danger or in any harm whatsoever, I would hack my arms and legs off and roll through burning glass and barbed wire to save you with my teeth if that's what it took."

He said nothing, but I saw behind those big brown eyes and underneath that spikey blond hair the wheels turned, processing and grasping.

The rest I said to myself, avoiding an overbearing Dad speech: Every parent worth the name would do that. One day that's coming too fast for me you'll understand what it's like to cherish someone beyond your own life, to sacrifice yourself willingly for that person, to have that person's happiness be paramount.

"Got it?" I said.

"Got it."

It was getting late, but Samurai Jack was on next, one of my favorites. No reason to end the evening on a heavy note, however sincere.

"Want some ice cream, Bub?"

"Dad, we already had dessert."

"Let's have it again."