Romance
14 Mar 2017


It is about 10:30 on the anniversary of our unexpected and life-changing encounter. I find myself re-reading our correspondence history. I relive every scene in my past…our past, as I read through each of these emails - like a story that I’m hearing for the first time.

Initial excitement – the prospect of meeting someone different, someone who could possibly prove to be the only exception in what has been a rather unpleasant experience. You seem witty, charming, friendly and much to my relief, an intelligent breath of fresh air for a change. I can’t wait…

I’m at your door…I’m out of breath from both running and violently fighting. I just want to get it over with, but mostly, I want to get on with it because I can’t stand to be out here with him any longer. I’m agitated, I’ve forgotten the simplicity of my initial excitement. Check messages to confirm room number. Confirmed. Close eyes. Deep breath. Knock.

You open the door – you are not what I had expected. Skinnier than I had pictured you in my mind. The eventual reveal and introduction to your face…different, striking, unnerving and eccentrically gorgeous. I stumble through my incoherent introduction as I stumble through the door…all the while stumbling out of reality and into a private universe with you. What now? What do I do? Oh god, I wish I could think of anything to do but stand here awkwardly and stare at you! “Take a seat…” you suggest, almost as if you’re reading my soul. I do.

We talk. For ages, we talk. We talk about everything from love and life to accents and my terrible geography. The walls I had in place, albeit slightly compromised by the less than desirable circumstances leading up to our meeting, were nowhere to be found. They had shattered into a million pieces and abandoned me – opening up space I could never afford before…space you filled with inspiration, hope, excitement and hopelessly incapacitating infatuation. We’ve said too much. We’ve said enough. We exchange the table and chairs and cigarette-butt-filled ashtray and bottle of beer I mostly only ordered for the sole purpose of looking cultured for the bed. It finally happens…not because it was supposed to, but because I wanted it to. This confuses me even more. I didn’t plan on wanting it. I wasn’t supposed to. My lack of control in a situation where I had managed to convince myself that I had some form of control in, but really didn’t, scared the shit out of me. But I was strangely excited at the same time!

Time for goodbyes. We’re standing outside waiting for the shuttle. You’re holding me. He’s watching. You’re holding me and I can’t be there with you because he’s watching! I forget that he’s watching because its taking so long…you point out our room in the mirror-building. This moment, in this second, its perfect. The shuttle arrives. You introduce yourself. You kiss me on the forehead and I don’t want to let go of your hand because I want to see how the story ends. I don’t get to want these things, so I let it go.

We’re on the bus and he won’t talk. He saw – he definitely saw and I knew that he had seen, but I didn’t know how much he had seen. Did he see the second…the perfect moment…the brief space in time where I wasn’t looking at you but didn’t seem utterly repulsed like I was instructed to? He did. I told him about your generosity and he suddenly perked up. In hindsight, this should have been one of the loudest alarms.

Time passes. I’ve managed to supress thoughts of you without too much effort, besides, I was used to doing this by now. The rules were very strict…after I let your hand go, I was never supposed to think of you, speak of you or speak to you again. An email. An email from you! I’m besides myself with giddy pleasure and perhaps too much excitement as a result of my suppression. I open it…I read it…I SHOULDN’T RESPOND TO IT…I respond to it. Herewith, the beautifully choreographed intellectual tennis match between us ensued like a game of hackey-sack with a lit firecracker. Back. Forth. You. Me. Again. Again. Again…

It builds. We build. I have a new addiction and it is the one or two mails I receive from you in our one, great, perpetual conversation. The intrigue is intoxicating. As it builds, we slowly begin to come to terms with the inevitable, fast-approaching explosion of the firecracker. I’m briefly in denial and, for a second, naively consider the possibility of a never-exploding firecracker…something that resembles those trick birthday candles.

It explodes…and with it a little bit of my heart, newfound hope and excitement. It was bound to explode. It was my fault that it had exploded in your hand. I wish you hated me right now. Your tolerance and kindness and care makes the tolerable sadness absolutely intolerable. Time for goodbyes again. This time we part as dear friends and “lovers, for a brief moment in time”. But why does it still hurt this much?

Time passes and I can’t stand it anymore…I’m going to take a chance.

“Bri…”

“Yes, darling?”

(Thank god, it hurts less already!)

“I’ve been thinking of you a lot…”

“And me of you…”

You call and we speak for hours…you fall asleep and I fall asleep to the sound of your snoring…something I find somewhat humorous at first, and unspeakable comforting at last. Another firecracker has been lit. This one is bigger and badder and brighter than before.

Time passes. Something happened and it couldn’t be worse, I’m frantic, I’m crying, I’m shouting at you from 30 000km away begging you to tell me to piss off. You don’t…you reinstall my sanity like you always do and you make it okay again. This means the world to me.

The right thing…what is the right thing? I don’t fucking know anymore and he is forcing me to say goodbye…AGAIN!

It explodes…AGAIN. Fuck it! It explodes in your hand…AGAIN!! This time, you really do hate me. I don’t blame you. If only I had been stronger. If only I had been weaker. If only I had been ALIVE enough to speak the fuck up! My heart is ripped straight out of my chest and I can feel it! I can feel the void in my chest cavity where it had just been plucked from! I can feel the eerily cold and painful feeling of the wind rustling through my exposed tendons as if they were leaves on a tree during August – and just like those leaves, my insides threaten to succumb to fall and abandon my branches. I can feel the blood draining out of me as if it were sailors in a legend, jumping from their ship in an absolutely disorganised panic whilst it is being consumed by what turned out to be a not-so-mythical Cracken-like creature – like this ship I now feel empty, about to be devoured by my very own personally designed demon from hell.

Time passes. The wound won’t heal this time - there is a definite, distinguishable, festering wound and you are the only antidote. I consider it and make myself forget…again, and again, and again, because you don’t deserve to ever hear from me again. I consider it…I do it. I don’t know if you will respond…I don’t expect you to, but in the same breath I do because I’m really ready this time and we owe it to ourselves to give it a proper shot. I mean…I owe it to you…but you owe it to me to allow me to owe it to you! You do…

We light another firecracker – the big kind they use at Fire-Department controlled events on New Year’s Eve!

It explodes again…not in your hand…not in mine…it explodes in a perfectly calculated destined distance between the two of us, in the air, it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and I have never been in a happier moment in my entire life. I have never experienced more childlike wonder, nor more wild and uncensored liberty, nor more incomprehensible comfort and security, nor more sense of perfection and adequacy and equilibrium, than in this moment.

It is about 10:30 on the anniversary of our unexpected and life-changing encounter. I find myself re-reading our correspondence history. I relive every scene in my past…our past, as I read through each of these emails - like a story that I’m hearing for the first time. I think of all that has transpired in-between…how much we have grown, how unbelievably far we have come. I think of the bliss of a thousand utopias that consume me within a single second spent in your arms.

In every single moment that I relive…I fall in love with you all over again.

In every single moment that I relive…I don’t regret a single thing!


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