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The Way We Move

Quotes in quotes in quotes.

By Isaac Haldeman Published 8 months ago 10 min read
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Sound Speeds.

Camera rolls.

Everyone on their mark…and action!

How often have we, this woman and I, compared our time together to being in a movie?

Too numerous to count. Still, a few moments are forever burnt into our highlight reel.

I must gush! I cannot keep from sharing how good this all is.

“Well it is still new.” A loving friend who sometimes hates will say after I answer his question.

This question: “So how is the relationship going?” He’ll ask with an extra elongated “how” and “going”.

To which I’ll answer with the truth. “It’s unreal how good it is.” I add that we’ve had our impasses that we’ve met with a quality of safety, respect, and maturity never, by me, witnessed.

“Well, I don’t want to sound, ya know, skeptical, but give it some time.” He’ll add with a light green hue.

I mentally barf because I don’t have the stomach for this negative reaction l, unless I’m fresh off of a heartbreak. Even then I don’t shit on my loved ones’ love, when they are in the middle of finding it, and even better celebriting it.

People can be so pessimistic about love but I think I should understand. I, too have room for that tired, “fuck all women, I don’t need anyone”, mentality, but why feed that low vibration? I’m too rebellious to fall into that trope despite my blaring excuse to do so - divorce, weekly renewed baby mamma drama, oh and their affair. Alas I’d rather keep heading in the direction we’ve been going.

I’ll write about the night which inspired this piece. Feels like a journal entry that maybe dosen’t need to be shared. Many won’t read it I’m sure. I’ll include a few moments that stand out from our anti-Hollywood flick.

We have mind-bending, reality acknowledging conversations as often as we breathe together. A stranger to me, she is not. I’ve known her only a year and a half yet our talks have transported us to each other’s past. I was there when she 5 years old and told her Pai, “posso dar a volta no quarteirão sozinha?” (Can I walk around the block by myself.) She was there when I met my ex wife, and I had a vision of us married before we spoke. We constantly share details that only we’d know in order to be known.

One night in the middle of one of these talks, I said, “Sometimes I wish someone would do a bright thing, jot this all down, get our quotes right.”

“Quotes? You think someone would quote what we say?”

“If I capture it well enough, they may.”

“Mhm, what are some of your notes on these pop quotes? Our soon-to-be-famous quotes.” She asks as she looks up at me, her chin on my chest, arms tucked behind me. Breathing that shared air is like being a kite just under outer space whose tether tail has been cut.

I recite the first thing that pops into my head, “I sat there looking at her on that beach, just after she looked away, I asked myself why would I want any other woman’s number when I am sitting here with her!?”

“Oh, I love that one, but no one else will care as we do. No one else is in the middle of this or in our heads. They wouldn't know that I was surprised by how much I noticed your absence when I woke up and you were gone. When you came back from the water, I was relieved to see you. I just wanted you near me."

“That last detail is a new one! But you are right, which is why I tell you, ‘I create for myself first, then the potential audience.' They also wouldn't know that I was at the water filming some other woman, and I was going to get her number but some stud beat me to the punch."

"They also wouldn't know that you told me all of that." She adds.

I say, "They also wouldn't know that I noticed a shift in your energy as I mentioned this other foil of a woman. When I saw you look away, I was blown away that Marina Costa was bothered by Isaac mentioning someone else."

"I was not bothered," she says through a laugh. “And you were not blown away.”

"Speak for yourself, babygirl. You at least took note, and that shift did happen." Reliving these moments bring such warmth into the present moment. Perhaps it’s a secret to stay on the track we have been on.

"Yes. I noticed." She always smiles as we talk about this day.

"Well, they wouldn't know that in that moment of your noticing, the sum total of all I had learned about you was repackaged in my mind as 'This woman is the only woman.'"

We kiss.

“I’d read it,” she says.

"You know I say these things because they’re true. I know they can sound like some line practiced in a mirror, but they are straight from the exposed nerve of my mind."

She acknowledges with a nod and, “I believe you. I hope other people read it too."

“Maybe the few that do will find some connection to how good it can feel to be exactly where you want to be. To feel safe in love. It’s still hard to believe I am here with you. The woman I met on her ex-boyfriend’s roof at a birthday party of a woman I was trying to pick up on the subway. Even that part, me going up to a woman on the subway platform was something I have never done before in my life. It has been a long but easy road to get to this place.”

“Easy?” She asks.

“I mean the, getting to know you, part was easy. Each day I spent with you just took me closer and closer to where we are now. The hard part was learning through other growing pains, a marriage of 10 years for example.”

The jaded love skeptic once told me, “Real love has a requirement of acceptance. Radical acceptance.” This man has helped shape this more refined Isaac whom I really have been enjoying.

“If this ends,” tears immediately rush for the ledge, "Will we be able to retell these moments with the same appreciation? I have had high highs in my past and I can tell you Marina, this season with you has felt like the greatest harvest of romantic love to date."

First time there was prolonged silence on this night. Then-

"You know I love you with everything I have."

That moment landed exactly where you want it to.

We were so snug-tight that night. I am not even sure how I can feel this sure about a woman. Tonight I have met myself, an equal. I didn’t know I could be with a woman who loves me as much as I love her. It’s not something one can quantify but “being on the same page” never felt so true. I want to cry and smile. I want to hold her as tightly as I do my children. Pull her her heart into mine. This space feels more like family than I ever did with their mother. How is that even possible? Genetics don’t rule the roost after all.

"I believe you.” I say. “Hey, have you seen Thelma and Louis?”

“No I don’t think so.”

“Ok! Can we watch it now?!”

“Of course. What made you ask?”

“Ah! You will understand as we watch the story. Even in this moment, me asking you about this movie, and why it’s significant feels like a plot point in a film.”

“But I like spoilers!” She says with her musical accent.

“All I will tell you is that what you and I share, Thelma and Louis shared. It’s a true love story. Why I call your my best friend. I know you say ‘I have a lot of best friends’, but when I say it, I mean there is only one slot to be filled.”

“Go on.”

“Well for me when I say best friend I am adreesing something sacred for me. My kids are the closest thing I can compare to the best friend category as deep it resides in me.”

“So I am your best, best friend?”

“No. You are my best friend.”

We start and stop the film multiple times, once to become distracted in the most knowing way, but we eventually finish the film.

As the credits are playing she looks back to me, “I loved it.”

“I knew you would. They have what we have which is ride, die, kill kind of love.”

“I don’t like kill.”

“Well, only one killed, but they both were on the ride right off and into the air.”

“So what other quotes would you want jotted down?”

“Woooosh woman. I feel like tonight has been a journey. I think tonight I realized again that what we have is rare. Ok another quote. Let me see.”.

“I will not be second.” I start.

“No not that one, that one is just for us. And your two girlfriends, Jack and Younes.”

“Ok. Got one. This one is short but I really loved the moment. I’ll set up the scene a bit too.”

“For our readers?” She reminds us both that this may end up being shared.

She turns around, hands under her chin waiting for the next short story.

“You had just gotten a new white dress, I was editing, and you started to put it on.”

“I remember this one.” She shifts in anticipation. The only thing missing is some popcorn.

“You said, ‘the answer is no.’ And I said “what?”. “You will ask me to marry you once you see me in this dress. The answer is no.”

Damn, even as I write these words I am reminded of how good God is. Why have I have been given the life I have? To have known love and lost it and to now, be given an opportunity that has already surpassed what I lost. It’s too good.

“A moment passes as you continue to put this beautiful dress on. I look at you, and you catch the change in my gaze. ‘What?’ You ask, with my shitty grin on your face.”

I pause. “Do you remember what I said next?”

“I do but I love to hear you say it.”

“I know you do. I said, Marina you know I’d marry you tomorrow right? To which you say with what I’d call slight bashfulness, ‘I know it’s just a joke I like to say sometimes, the answer is no.’”

She was so causal when I told her that. To mention marriage to a divorcee is a dangerous thing but we both have such similar views to how we are doing things this time around. Besides she knows my commitment is what it is with or without the formalities.

“Hey baby we should get some sleep so we can enjoy tomorrow.”

We both equally enjoy these moments of reminding ourselves of these moments. I have always wondered how to keep things fresh, and I was told reminding each other of what to be grateful for is part of the secret relational alchemy a couple must implement.

“I sometimes want to stay up because I miss you.” She says.

“Same here. I love to miss you.”

She runs to go pee. I follow her. I piss, she flosses, I then floss as she brushes. She uses mouth wash, then I do before I brush.

“You don’t use amount wash at the end? Even after watching me do it right?” She says.

“Oh yeah. Ok, one more quote,” I decree, “but this time you find it.”

“Easy. The way we move, I love the way we move.”

“Together.” We both finish the line.

Short Story
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About the Creator

Isaac Haldeman

NYC

I try and try.

I enjoy stories and attempting to tell them.

I’m a rich father before I am a poor artist.

@isaachaldeman

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