»Excuse me! Is that you?« the woman asked. She was leaning over her friend’s lap, trying to show you a picture on her phone. I was afraid she’d be about to tear a muscle.
We were sitting in the audience of a cozy arts centre, waiting to see a dance competition. We, meaning a curious and slightly hungover me, and you, the guy I had just met.
Once I processed your new friend’s words, the only thing I thought was »Nah! That’s not him«. I guess I must have looked funny when you confirmed her question and you guys started talking about a TV series, till the lights turned dark and the show started. I managed whispering »Do I need to google you?« into your ear before your subsequent laughter was drowned out by the incoming bass sounds.
Maybe I forgot about the who are you question because you did an impressive job distracting me. I must say – getting me almost hit by a car by making me run across a multilane road was working in your favor. You ‘apologized’ by sharing a life changing culinary specialty with me: Vanessa’s duck pancakes. If my eyes hadn’t been sparkling by that point, they probably would have exploded after I took the first bite.
We went to my favorite bar to play ping pong. One of the few things that always gets me in the zone, that nurtures my competitiveness. Even though it was our first date, you didn’t even attempt to let me win. Charming. I admit, kissing my pouted lips after beating me in yet another game was a smart move. After I discovered that kissing you gets me in the zone as well, there wasn’t much room left for asking questions. Especially after you introduced me to Swedish Fish, with the consequence of my teeth seeming to be glued together after eating that sticky wine gum.We listened to Jazz music, nestling against each other and soaking ourselves into the scenery. Kisses and candy – a girls dream.
Thinking about this evening, it feels like we put months of dating into this one night. As if we knew.
What do I assume we knew though?
I think it is as simple and simultaneously infinite as it sounds; I think I already knew you.
I love that I don’t have to think about my words or actions when I’m with you and that you don’t make me think about them. Not in an indifferent way, which was usually the case. I was always more the authentic kind of girl but with you it’s based on a genuine way of our connection and communication. That I feel that you get it, get me. To be fair, you got a quite realistic ‘welcome to my world’ insight when I had to ask you to close my pants in a restaurant a few hours after our first encounter. Yes, I always have very, very cold hands. And no, they are usually not as cold and stiff that I am not able to dress myself after using a public bathroom.
Shame resilience requires laughter? Thank you for laughing with me. Besides my clumsiness, I can’t really remember what we talked about this specific evening. Maybe because we talked about so many things. Even more likely it’s because it wasn’t just an evening.
It was an evening turning into night, a night turning into dawn, leading to our energy turning into this: Me sitting here, more than 365 days later, writing these words. Time is an interesting companion.
In place of recalling specific words, my memory is filled with emotions. Moments of deep, spontaneous laughter, like when we ran up the stairs to catch the train – or attempted to run, right grandpa? I still burst out laughing when I recall you arriving on the platform, breathless and mumbling something between your squeaking inhales. Unexpectedly cause the Swedish Fish seem to swim their way directly into your athletic body.
I felt pure joy when we just walked together through the streets, over bridges. Our hands forming a union. Maybe that’s why I love bridges so much. They have two separate bases. Each part gaining strength through connecting with the other and enabling travelers to get closer to wherever they want to go.
I enjoyed talking about our own travel plans. About going to Japan and what we’d like to discover there. Moments of intimacy, physically and mentally.
A little while ago, I talked to my students about feelings. We listened to Carly Rae singing »I really, really, really, really, really, really like you« and I remembered the last time I felt that way. It was more than a year ago, only a few days after we had met. We were sitting on a beanbag in your room and I must have blinded out the voices from the crowd talking all around us. I remember a moment of silence when we just looked at each other for what seemed like an endless second. I noticed that I unintentionally had been trying to avoid this for quite some time. I guess that’s the inevitable part of letting go. Looking back, I can still hear my own voice saying: »Damn! I really, really, really, really, really, really like you«.