Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I think our paths crossed, accidentally. I’m not sure if we were ever meant to be lovers, but eventually we were supposed to be friends. By some twist of fate we found each earlier, and at the wrong intersection of our lives. You asked for me to tell you about myself over a text message but how can one find the words in just a few characters? You were already halfway out the door, ready to see the world leaving the city of rain behind. I was halfway through a bottle on a downward spiral with a black hole from my past.
I told you I would write you, but without an address I figure this is the place to keep my letters to you. Maybe I’ll share this with you someday, be it a month, or years or tomorrow. Maybe never. I have terrible timing and I never wear a watch. You were curious and wanted to know everything about me and I didn’t want to fall for you so I told you nothing. I will use these letters to share my story with you, and maybe while you are finding yourself out there I too will find myself.
I don’t think I remember anything before the birth of my brother. I don’t even remember my mother being pregnant as he grew in her womb as a promise that I wouldn’t be completely alone on this rock that was hurtling through time and space. So for me, life began the day my brother emerged into the world. I remember being with my grandmother and walking though the back yard and down a path through the woods to a grocery store. I remember feeling like something was happening but my two-year-old self could not grasp the gravity of the day. I remember coloring a sign, with those foreign hieroglyphics only discernible to those who cannot yet comprehend the finer points of language.
It was a day like today, although back then it was May and in this moment it is October 2nd, some 29 years later. The sun was shining bright the air was crisp. Not quite coat weather but requiring just more than a sweater. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m currently teetering on the line of exact latitudinal coordinates as I was that day, just a few degrees west this time.
And then I met him and I realized everything had changed. My toddler-self understood that I had to protect this being with whom I shared genetic similarities and facial features. I would have to defend him from those that wanted to hurt his feelings, and his person. I would have to form a unit against the world, and our parents. We would need to be the last two people standing and be able to count on each other because we share the same eyes, and the many of the same markings on our chromosomes. The legend of our lives is that we came from the same place, and no one else would ever come from that exact beginning. My brother’s birth was the day my memories began.
I found you, mere minutes before you were to vanish from my physical life and that’s ok. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was reborn by meeting you but I was changed on some molecular level. When you asked me about myself I didn’t know where to begin, or what to share or omit so I said nothing. Something did happen, however. The tiniest kernel of feelings lodged itself somewhere I can’t yet identify, so here I am.
You asked me for my story and I’m going to give it to you. One painful (or pleasurable) recollection at a time. I can’t promise it will be ordinary, extraordinary or even the least bit interesting but it is what it is. This is day one of our journey. Yours, around the world. Mine- I’m not quite sure where it is going to go, but I’m learning to embrace the unknown. I’ll see you soon.