Monday, September 14, 2009

You are the first

Dearest You,

When I first met you, you had hair. I mean a lot of hair, slicked back and up in a kind of pompadour. Now that I know you so well, you tell me it was a cool 'do. You ask me if I even know who Jason Priestly is. Your hair was very Melrose Place. And then it was very Roman Gladiator (thanks to George Clooney.) And then your hair was gone. But it didn't matter because by then (or really before then) my love for you had grown to such an alarming extent that even if you'd sprouted a third arm or gotten a tattoo of Tweety Bird on your back, I'd still have found myself in pretty deep.

You used to wear a leather jacket that creaked when you moved and your ears smelled like soap and peanut butter. You bite your nails and have a habit of holding your hand over your mouth when you talk as though you might want to catch a word here and there. I think this made me believe you were shy. But you are not shy. You are not nervous like me. You are confident.

You are the person who worked all the late hours on the job where we met. You let me go home early. You are the one who took me to see a shark exhibit at the Natural History Museum while wearing a brass shark belt buckle. I wanted you to kiss me in the rose garden, but instead you bought me a popsicle that tasted like gazpacho.

When we finally did kiss, it was the night you brought me a whole rum bundt cake. We had just seen the movie "Sling Blade," but somehow the evening was romantic anyway.

Once we kissed, we were inseparable. Remember that night we dragged my little television set into the bathroom so we could watch "Grease" from the bathtub? I think that was the night I told you that I loved you. Before that, I said, "I really, really like you," but you knew what I meant anyway.

For some reason, I broke up with you. I'm not sure why. I'm not really even sure I meant to do it. I think I wanted a little breathing room and you freaked out and came over to return the key to my apartment. I cried hysterically. I called my best friend from high school and he arranged to conference in two other friends and they all listened from different states while I cried. I stopped eating. For the first time in my life, I lost weight while I was sad. Our break up lasted twelve days. Eventually, I called you. I asked if you'd want to see a movie. You agreed. When you came to pick me up, we sat on opposite ends of the couch and talked. After a few minutes, you leaned across the middle cushion and put your head in my lap. I could feel my heart beat so fast as I bent to lay my cheek against yours.

Eventually you asked me to marry you. And you still ask me. Almost every day. Even though we have been married for over eight years. It's the nicest thing.

With love,

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