A Collection of "Ands"
To Think about Things That Don't Exist, to Admit Them to Yourself
There are words dripping from my lips in no sensible order. They are empty; as much as I try to fill them with the passion and the past married to them in my mind, they are detached, and I am sorry for that. There are messages on my tongue, and poems perched on my fingertips, and ideas begging to be released and turned into rants of no importance all because of you, and because of your smile, and because you smell like flowers and soaked cedar and comfort when I bury my face in your shoulder, and I love that about you.
And your kiss is like a whisper, like a secret, but that night you were drunk and only wanted to murmur kind words to her, and you didn’t seem to want anything to do with me at all, and I could not be more grateful that it is all different now.
And do you remember as we sat on the balcony in the dead of night, the damp wood against our bare feet? The clouds begged us to weep with them; the falling leaves awaited our collapse into the earth. And she sat and smoked cigarette after cigarette while I inhaled stolen red wine, and we stared into the trees and listened to the cicadas preach our sadness.
In that moment, I knew that I loved you.
And God I wish I could bring myself to tell you I love you. I roll my eyes at every tender word you say to me, and I flush and hide when you call me out for unknowingly staring, and I hope that you know the words I am thinking when I do that. I pray that you feel my love cloaked in a gentle snow or that you know it’s there when I shove you. I need you to see it in my eyes because I can’t scream from rooftops, and my love won’t win Oscars or travel seas or erupt through locked doors. All I can do is dream that you feel it the way I feel it: like a warm breeze through your hair or the sun on your face on a cold day.
And the sound of your voice, a mumbling hum is constantly in my head, lilting through my thoughts and bringing my words to life at last. You are the passion and the past that so many of my thoughts are intertwined with. And everything that shows up in your voice is so clear, and I am enthralled, and I will believe everything you say and everything I think you’d say because I don’t just love you; I am infatuated.
And I know that you idealize me, and that can happen sometimes, and that is a little bit scary. Because who wakes up at four in the morning to engage in awkward small talk and look at me, and who spends his Saturday night trying to teach me the ways of the world and who in the world tells me that he loves me? Because there is no way you could ever love me as much as you profess while I am a real human being, and I am afraid that I cannot live up to these crazy things you believe me to be. And it is nice to hear such lovely words in your lovely voice, but I do hope that you already know that I am shallow and weak and selfish and that I only look perfect from far away because I’d hate for you to have to find this out later and hate me because of it.
And I used to hate wandering because I like to know where I’m going, and you questioned why I don’t love exploring but that’s not the same thing. Because wandering is lost and purposeless, a search for the unknown, a search for something to inspire. When you explore, you are found, and you are present, and you are already inspired by and completely immersed in the observation of your surroundings. But that isn’t the point. The point is that I didn’t wander; I knew where I was going, but you have turned me into a wanderer. If you ask, I will wander the streets with you for ages as long as my hand is in your pocket and your eyes are there for me to explore.
And your name is oppressively chartreuse, or maybe it’s an electric kind of blue, but you radiate a light that is white and clean and warm and creamy in every hug, every breath, every blink of your beautifully bright eyes. You make me fearless, and I am no longer in a place to be afraid of when I wake up in the early morning. You are love; you express love. You are energy before matter, and nothing really matters unless you want it to anyway, and I want you to matter. You matter.