How does that saying go? Life is what happens when you are busy making plans? Well. Shit. (I’m going to swear a lot in this letter).
I spent my first Christmas alone and I cried a bunch. Like, snot running down your face ugly cries. But I talked on the phone a lot with people I love and distance is only a measurement of spaces between.
I’m getting myself in a situation. I can’t tell if it is the novelty of it all, or the wistfulness or what but I think I’m in trouble. Whether it turns into something or doesn’t, I don’t want these butterflies to go away.
10 years ago I was a hot mess in college. (Mind you, a hot mess that not only graduated first (because I sat next to the dean at graduation) but cum laude, so.). I was seeing this guy, Ben and was absolutely enamored with him but then one day he sat me down and gave me the “I recently got out of this long term relationship and don’t want anything serious right now” talk and then asked if he could spend the night. If that’s not a proverbial slap in the fucking face than I don’t fucking know what is. I was an idiot and probably let him stay. Because sleeping alone is often the worst. (I’ve been sleeping alone for the last year. It is the worst).
Like what the hell. I’ve always tried to abide by the “He’s just not that into you” mentality and when someone doesn’t want to give you their all you shouldn’t give them anything. I am a kick ass person. I am thoughtful, clever, creative and kind. I deserve more and I knew it then and I know it now.
Ben took me out for dinner right before my birthday. Then we went out to the bar (as you do in college) and I met someone I had not met before, and they had the bluest eyes. Pierce your soul-romance novel eyes. One fucking gander into those baby blues and I just remember being done with Ben. I remember that Ben got mad at me for flirting with this guy (because he had taken me to dinner) but I was already over him for not picking me. Magellan- don’t be that asshat. If you meet a girl and just aren’t into her and she’s not the one nor will she become the one don’t be that guy who doesn’t want anything serious. And don’t try to keep it going after you say those things. Nothing hurts more than hearing “I just don’t think you’re good enough to give up the idea of someone else.” I have heard that one, a few times and to that I say Fuck. You.
Like what is this fucking idea and why are we all looking for it?
So the thing is, 10 years later I’m in St. Louis because LCD Soundsystem is headlining Lou Fest and LOW AND BEHOLD Mr. Fucking blue eyes is there, handsome as fuck with those god damned eyes that are still as blue as a fucking ocean that I want to let swallow me whole. 10 years later and this man looks even better than when he stopped me in my tracks on a very confusing evening a decade before. I knew he would be there and planned to try and meet up but the universe and my Elemental Pole Theory deposited him not 5 feet in front of me 5 minutes after my brother and I had entered the festival through a break in the fence. I didn’t need to text him or look for him because he was right there. This moment where I was feeling a sort of sorrow for being alone in life (and hungover on all the gay vodka from the night before) and my friend was right in fucking front of me.
And he was with a woman and I assumed they were together and that was fine. In that moment that fucking familiar face was all I wanted to see. It was a day where we would part ways and find each other and part ways again. Then, at the end of the night a little bit left of center and a few hundred yards back I found him for the last time that evening and I got to stand next to him while we watched a fantastic show.
But now the kicker. We’ve kept in touch. And now I’m having phone conversations that last hours. And I’m learning about this human and their life and the things that have happened in the past decade. And I’m trying to share parts of myself. And its this brutally, honest unfiltered version of myself (the scary not cute shit). This long-distance friendship is spanning 1800 miles, and decades.
And all of a sudden, I just don’t feel so lonely. And this evolving into more than a friendship might not be plausible or very likely- or smart! It’s not smart, Nikki, stop it. But there is a human out there who talks my ear off. And I know, it’s a novelty. (Much like wandering into a bar a week before an other handsome gentleman is about to leave for potentially forever). The idea that it could be something is a fucking delightful novelty, the hope is a novelty. I JUST CAN’T FUCKING EVER DO ANYTHING THE EASY WAY! Gah. I don’t know where I’m going but 10 fucking years ago I made a comic for the college newspaper about our first conversation. And now this man actually picks up the phone and speaks to me (or makes me FaceTime after a day of ugly crying with puffy eyes). We’re smiling with our teeth again I think. (Even back then he made me smile with teeth).
So now, back to this idea that we are all questing after. That someone, who maybe much like myself needed some time to figure some things out (and probably still needs more). Time is such a weird, purely conceptual method to keep track of instances in existence. The most valuable commodity. You can’t buy it, and it’s infinite but you only get so much. You can’t plan for it. It just is, and it’s cruel and unkind, extending beyond you in all directions. And your heart! It’s just a fucking organ that pumps oxygen and blood through your body but when someone makes you feel anything you give it all the credit. But my phone dings and I feel warmth and hope. Fucking hope that was probably gone for a real hot minute. I’m terrible at timing. I don’t wear a fucking wristwatch- but Mr. blue eyes does.
Am I looking for meaning that isn’t there? Probably. But it’s a lot more fucking fun then feeling all alone in the world. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I certainly like entertaining the idea of it all.