I know I’ve missed two of my Sunday deadlines but with good reason.
I spent my first Christmas all on my own. I woke up, alone. Put some fake Bailey’s in my coffee. Listened to music. Checked some texts. Had a few phone calls from friends. Wept. Took a few more phone calls. Wept again. Dusted myself off and went for a run. Full out cried in the shower. (Feelings, I know). Talked to my family on the phone. FaceTimed on the phone again to a friend I had already talked to. Fell asleep talking to the same friend.
All in all, that ended up being over 6 hours on the phone with one person. Naturally that pesky “What if” kicked in. So, 5 days before I was supposed to fly to paradise I changed my flight to take a detour to St. Louis and Southern Illinois…
Tommy made me do it. I was all “What if this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done?” (surprisingly, it isn’t) and brother was all “But what if it works?” So, Yolo. A $500 flight change/addition later and I was on a mission to see if a 10-year wait was a real deal. It is, but not in the grand, Love Actually way I was really hoping for.
I got to spend an evening with my brother and his new boyfriend. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to see him happy for the first time. It took him 29 years, but now he has finally allowed himself to be his true person and it’s beautiful to see. We deemed my mission “Love Maybe?”
So I borrowed my brother’s car and took a long drive across prairie state lines. And I Nikki Surprised the shit out of that friend I had ran into at the festival earlier in the year in St. Louis. It took him half the day to be ok with my being there. And then we slept. I slept better for the next three days than I had slept all year. We played cards and Farkel with his parents and I saw what it would be like to spend holidays with a partner’s parents and my heart melted and I tried not to cry. It was amazing. We ate all the snacks and danced to our favorite music on NYE. I started the new year not alone, but with an old friend.
And then I left and drove across state lines again. I had a lovely gay brunch and hoped on a plane to DC and helped my friends pack for their wedding and didn’t really sleep on a couch. Adam bought a bunch of berries that I got stuck in charge of (bringing them through security and everything) and it became a running joke for the rest of the trip.
I’m going to break this into two letters because I’m going to need to find a lot of words to explain the second leg of my journey. I get it though- why you are out there. Looking. One of the reasons my last relationship ended was that he randomly booked a pretty extensive (and last minute) trip and I know you can’t go on adventures like these and not return changed. I didn’t want to stick around and see who he would be when he got back, he should have wanted to change with me. That was the real thing. Everything else I could have dealt with.
So is my friend who is temporarily marooned in Southern Illinois the one? Maybe, but still not quite yet. He needed a swift spirit slap, and I did my best to deliver one. I miss him, and I miss sleeping soundly through the night. My heart aches for family dice games and dancing in his parents living room. On New Year’s Day we played cards with them into the sunrise. They danced to Elton John and we held hands under the table. These moments were worth the price of the detour. As for my friend- He’s not there yet. I still need someone to consider my feelings, hopes and dreams first. I need someone who is here, in this moment not in a hypothetical one in the future.
I’m very good at finding the friend zone, and I am one of the best friend’s you can hope to find. I understand those gaping holes in your heart that you can’t quite seem to plug, and when you feel joy I feel it too. Being a conduit for feelings is tough, but someones got to do it.
I just need to find that person to sleep next to so I can reset for each day’s emotions.