**Note: Thank you to the gods of inspiration, that bolt has finally hit me. in the past couple week, this blog has hit 3,000 views and the views keep rising. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to have a whole website. In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who has shown genuine interest in my thoughts/beliefs and feelings about life and the world. This next one is so extremely important to what I do and who I’ve become. At this stage in the game, writing about love is writing about life. To Paul: I love you, dude.**
We Were Rosy
We were rosy-cheek in love, listening to songs just to get back in one another’s head just in case one of us snuck out. We used to talk about us before you and I, as if the components didn’t even exist. We used to entwine ourselves with more ferocity as if we were slipping from one another. I could paint a scene of love imperfect. I could attempt to make it beautiful: the way literature makes a car crash perfect. But perfect wasn’t right.
I can remember age eighteen with frightening clarity—meeting a man when men had formerly wreaked taboo. I’d never chalked the world up to something celestial until I came face-to-face with the only worthwhile stuff of the universe. Individuals: faces and eyes that make one understand why Zarathustra came down (I remember my Nietzsche professor couldn’t stress that enough—the guy came down!). So, when I met him, he made the world more of a place for me to state my intent, to be myself, execute the deepest desires of my heart.
Time allegedly heals, but I find it likelier that it smears a coat of BIC brand white out over a wound’s surface. Time wears and chips away the wood. If a fine-crafted mahogany table is a sweet November stroll through the oaky, shaded-over neighborhoods of Roland Park circa 2009, then my four-year-long relationship is that same table after a number of moves across country in the back of a Uhaul, having incurred the stamina to handle vases and hideous cross-generational accoutrements, ranging from Lalique to Precious Moments. We will continue to transport that table, keeping it close, despite its watermarks and chipped edges.
I will carry the table; I will carry you.
I can recall the early fights: me muffling his voice anytime so much as a friendly confrontation came forth from his nervous lips. I’d do anything to maintain our status as that flawlessly alluring couple that graced an otherwise Playboy campus brimming with modern day oligarchs in oxfords. I’d mitigate, in efforts to brush the white out over the smeared pen, only to find that this would be my first go around at throwing non literal gasoline on the non literal fire of my relationship. All I needed to do was let the fire crackle—perhaps blow it about a bit, so it could electrify and affect a chain reaction. This is the stuff of the earth, the flames I must let go but can’t bear watch burn. It would take awhile until I was good at this—using words, allowing love to arrive gradually out of strife, rather than quelling fighting words that make the times of peace more lit up: robust with pale brilliance.
I remember the first 9 months together, six of which were spent with him in Scotland. I’d write him long letters of how we’d one day counter the prototypical numbed middle-aged couple. I’d talk about how lively we’d be—how innocently in love we’d find ourselves even after 10, 20, 60 years. I’d loved him like a child: fully, but closed to any indication that I was wrong. I would love, but I didn’t want to work, I didn’t want to turn my gaze toward the truth: that my inability to open myself to the possibility that I was wrong had created a one-way street—the kind one doesn’t automatically perceive and begins to turn down, only to realize its there, just barely executing a 7-point turn in the middle of the road, ashamed, confused, and unable to grasp how a smart, perceptive individual, would ever turn down this street. For me, feigning euphoria seemed like a better choice than acknowledging what I’d later learn was life and realism disguised by my ballooned perceptions as a faulty relationship.
I first watched the flames flicker during a miniature Renaissance at the start of the Fall. I was Michelangelo, furiously breaking my back, painting “I’m Sorry” on the ceiling like a heart-sleeved maniac. Sitting by his door with my hands folded was “I’m sorry for saying that.” My tears, the film’s epilogue, were “I’m sorry I did that.” Using words without the words was the best thing I’d ever done. Now, we’d each have our turn to start the fire: he’d be the gas-thrower, me: the extinguisher. Then, like the best painters and artists we’d invent our love story with erratic brushstrokes and zigzagging chalk lines: this goes here and maybe that’ll come in way down there. It had plenty of seams, but that was all right.
Now when I redden with frustration, he’ll likely shake his head and walk away, but it’s cold outside now, and we’ll take November walks, our cheeks rosy but mostly from the cold and our eyes lit up, knowing we wont be here forever. I will not turn down that road again; I will not make 7-point turns. Instead, before I blame him for my lost tube of chapstick, I will ask him about this constellation, and we will walk like careful giants, up the stairs of the Library of Congress, through this city, it could be any city really, but it’s this one and it’s ours. They’ll put scaffolding up on the Capitol building soon, but we’ll have the night to remember when it was just another bit of the troposphere. And that’s where we are too, frozen on earth, which is really the only celestial body for which we’ve got to live. You’re the sky, I’m the sky, and so is this building. And I don’t have to write sorry in the stars, not yet, not tonight.