Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flashback: 9/7/2008

It would've officially been three months today. Three months since our second first date, since we saw that play and ate ice cream and we talked for five hours on that disgusting couch and I thought about kissing you but figured it was too much and we shared our mistakes and our demons and you wore my jacket on the way home because you were cold and I didn't tell you this but after it smelled like you for two days so I wore it even though it was 80 degrees outside because it was like being with you.

You weren't just a breath of fresh air. You were a breath of air. You were a revelation and a reminder that there was decency and beauty and hope in this godawful world and you were so damned beautiful that night. Every night since, for that matter, even when you got your wisdom teeth out and you were miserable but we watched Veronica Mars and you drank the Vitamin Water that I brought you and your mouth hurt for days and I took you to get a haircut and you threw out all of those clothes that he had bought you to try and get forgiveness for whatever awful thing he had said or done.

I wish I could say that I didn't miss you. That it didn't bother me to go to bed without an "I love you" goodnight or a "drive home safe" goodbye or a "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Did you mean them? Did you make them up to try and keep me around? Because I'd be lying if I said I didn't think of that. If I was the best thing that ever happened to you, I'd be there right now, sitting on that couch, my fingers in your hair and my eyes on our future, just waiting for you to be ready to take a chance on a life with me.

And I think you wanted it, too. Or at least you thought you did. I think you wanted so much to want me that you actually convinced yourself for a little while that you did. I think that's why you kept pushing it: why you kissed me, why you said "I love you," why you brought up marriage, etc. Not that any of that bothered me, of course. I was there every step of the way.

When I would see you, I saw an exhausting wedding reception and a tiny apartment in Brooklyn and me watching you walk with your Ph.D. and beaming and saying to everyone in front, behind, to the left, and to the right of me "Her? The beautiful girl with the diploma and the smile bright enough to frighten the sun to hide behind the moon? That is my wife." And they'd all be jealous, and rightly so, because we were going to be happier than any two people who had ever lived because nothing else would really matter, and that would give us strength.

And things would be hard, of course. We'd have money troubles--after all, the comic book industry doesn't pay very well, and neither does being an expert witness--but we'd try. Even though you'd protest, I'd sell my comics (except for Frank Miller, of course, because that would be barbaric) to make your tuition and I'd get a part time job as a night manager at McDonald's and every morning I'd get home as you were just getting out of bed for your daily run with our Yorkie, Martha (since you don't like the name for a child, you'd let me have it for a dog) and I'd smell like cheeseburgers and defeat and you'd hold me anyway because you'd know it was all for you.

And one day, I'd get that call. "Your book is getting published." I wouldn't believe it at first, but after some hard evidence (a check big enough to actually pay enough that damn credit card), you'd make me dinner (grilled cheese, omelettes, Dr. Pepper) and we'd watch some Psych and fall asleep on the couch and you'd tell me how proud of me you were and when we get the box of ten promotional copies of the book, you'd open it to see the dedication to you. You'd ask me why I never told you about it, and I'd explain that the almost blinding light in your eyes was exactly why, that ability that I still somehow had, the thing that I was more grateful for than anything: the ability to surprise you enough to keep you around.

But eventually things would calm down. We'd establish a routine, and while some might find that boring or lifeless, I would love nothing more because it would mean that I would always have coming home to you to look forward to.

But that's all a fantasy, I guess. Didn't need to be, but it is. I'm guessing that the next year will not have you in it. And that makes me sad, because I love you with a purity reserved only for scripture. It probably sounds ridiculous to someone reading this that isn't, well, me, but I knew about fifteen minutes into dinner that I could be satisfied. I could be happy. That may have been fast. In fact, I know it was fast. Suspiciously fast. But yours is a passion and a love in which there are no flaws, no imperfections, just purity.

And I think your dad was right. I could've made you happy. And it's not like this chapter has really closed yet, but I think we're on the final pages of it.

I wish I knew what to do to make you come back.

My world's not round without you in it.

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