November 14, 2006

“Laura and I never even made any sense to me.  But you know, magic doesn’t have to make sense.  That’s why it’s magic.”

 And that’s why I love General Hospital.  This week was a satisfying blend of old love, new love, insecure love, rediscovered love, and bittersweet love all mixed together in a sampler platter.  For a soap opera that too often serves up the same bland slice of mobster meat pie, this week was a welcome change.  It was brimming with first I love you’s (Robin & Patrick), reconnecting (Jason & Sam), building trust (Carly & Jax), and, well, the topic of this column--Luke’s love for Laura and the man he is with her.

            Lucas Lorenzo Spencer has never been an easy man to quantify.  He started as a scoundrel, fell in love and morphed into a man respected by all of Port Charles, saved the world time and again, was a sly man on the run, and then retreated into a shell after the love of his life migrated to Catatonia.  Deep down, however, Luke, still thinks of himself as the scoundrel he once was.  How many times have we seen Laura ask him to put aside his guilt?  This week, I realized that he never really has.  He’s never gotten to a point where he believes himself worthy of forgiveness or of a better life.  Sure, he’s lived the dream from time to time, but only with Laura and, in his mind, only because of Laura.  To him, their love is magic because he does not believe there is any rational way that she could have forgiven him for raping her, forgiven him for being the sort of man that he believes he is at his core.  A love that believes he’s more than that can only be magic to Luke.  Don’t get me wrong here; I don’t mean that Luke worships Laura or considers her a saint of any sort.  He’s lived with this woman for most of his life and knows her faults and limitations. It’s not about how ‘good’ she is but how ‘bad’ he believes himself to be. In the midst of all his self-hatred, somehow, there is this bright glowing force called love and it exists in his life because of Laura.  Luke loves Laura and Laura loves him and it’s magical.   

“Magic is the illusion.  And my sweet husband, you need to consider what’s going to happen when reality sets in.” 

And then there’s Tracy.  She functioned in this scene as Luke’s inner voice—the one that laughs at the idea that his and Laura’s love can last in the real world.  He’s a ne'er-do-well, not someone entitled to the richness of love and family.  He isn’t fit for it.  Tracy is the woman who demands no attachment, asks nothing from him at all but a sparring partner.  She should be ideal for the sort of man Luke thinks he is.  Tracy’s simplistic view of Luke and Laura’s relationship is essentially the same thing we hear Luke say when he’s retreated into his shell.  And he can believe it when Laura’s gone; in fact, it’s much easier for Luke to believe that Laura would have been better off without him, because he doesn’t believe he deserves her.  But, the magic of Luke and Laura is already working on him.   I don’t believe that Luke would have even realized that he cared about Tracy unless he’d started to come back to life-his real life, not the shell that he banishes himself to.   I think he surprised himself by showing affection for Tracy and I think that even being able to admit that he’s “grown accustomed to her face,” so to speak, is a result of being with Laura again.  When she is near, he can’t just block out those pesky feelings like he has been the past four years. 

            What I hope for from Laura’s short foray into sanity is that Luke doesn’t completely lose the magic this time.  I hope that he is able to retain some of the joy and vitality that being with Laura brings to him.  I think it’s the best 25th anniversary present that Laura could give to him.  

And if Luke’s able to share a little bit of that magic with Tracy, I’ll be quite happy all around.  She’s due for some love in her life as well.  Anyone raise a glass with me to that?