From true love to stabbed-in-the-back love, from quick love to love that just won't die, View writers have chronicled looks at love in the '80s for Valentine's Day eve. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and the guilty, but all are true . . . even if love sometimes isn't.
They each wrote poems and read them to each other at their wedding three years ago, these two writers who had seen death cut short their first loving marriages.
Hal Lieberman had written a play, "The Leavings," based on the death of his wife. After her husband died, Lil Hara had crafted a collection of poems on grief and loss. A mutual friend gave Hal the poems and Lil's phone number.
Wary, he called her. Not long after, he warned her it was unlikely he would fall in love. He had already been in love.
" 'Who asked ya?' " she said she asked him in her best Brooklynese.
"Never the twain," he laughed of his Bronx roots.
But the twain did meet. They married. The first grandchildren have arrived, one from each side; they see just about all the plays and films; Hal won the National Playwrights Showcase Contest for one play last year and will see another broadcast on French radio this spring. Lil and her writing partner have a rock murder mystery making the rounds and a staged reading of their play "Vacancy" scheduled at UC Riverside this month. They are on the go constantly.
They do not exactly bill and coo at each other. She had a line in her wedding poem about their "scrappy and tender" courtship, and that description still holds.
The "if you had it to do over" question elicits no joyful gushes. He gives a joking, qualified "it depends" reply.
She says with dry, somewhat feigned resignation, "It's like aging. What's the alternative?" then hopes she hasn't sounded too negative.
Eyes and hands thrown heavenward, Hal laughs in delight that Lil has put her finger on the pulse of the universe.
Hadn't he written in his wedding poem, "Lil Hara, I offer you my second life for everything you give to me."