The curtain will rise.
I love you.
I want you.
Sometimes I need you.
I choose you.
It will all fall into place.
I haven’t bothered attempting or wanting to be in a relationship since I moved here. My mind was set on school and work and getting by. I was in survival mode in unknown territory.
My first summer here was dreadfully hot and humid…DREADFULLY. I was saved by my wife and husband-in-law and and others who pitched in and mailed me an A/C unit, which is currently on right now as it is once again summer–however not NEARLY as horrid as it was last year.
My first fall was spent trekking with one to three bags a day to school and work while the leaves changed to miraculous colors of yellow and burnt sienna. Yah, I said burnt sienna. The fall also held a day or two of recovery from tequila poisoning from a night of celebrating with Ro when I passed mid-terms. Imagine what might’ve happened if I bothered staying in school and finishing that, too. heh.
Winter approached rapidly and apparently was one of the worst that NY had seen in a few years. Several storms. Many evenings I just stood near my window holding the curtain to the side and watched as the snow blew every direction with ferocity. It always landed softly though. That was something to see. The streets slowly becoming the purest shade of white I had ever seen. It was beautiful–until I had to travel through it to get to school and work. Lucky for me my housemates prepared me by Christmas and I had a wonderful winter coat and boots to protect me. There were days when I’d catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror with three bags, long pants and boots, my coat and scarf and beanie, and gloves and think “what am I doing here?” there were days I never thought I’d make it up to the fifth floor with all my books and clothes. But I always did.
Spring turned slowly. I’d look out the window and see bits of green growing on near by trees and wonder if it was jacket chili, or sweater worthy, or if it was time to just wear a long sleeve shirt. Without wanting to take the risk of getting cold, I’d over dress and de-layer as I went about my day. It seemed to work out fine. The colors of green on the trees were vibrant and bright, it quickly became my favorite time of the year. My birthday came and went. A group of friends accompanied me to my favorite place, then we all headed over to karaoke at a place Ro and I named Ching-Chong Ping-Pong Sing-Song. We had drinks and cupcakes and I blew out a candle, just like I wanted.
Work was work. School was school. It was day in and day out. It was hard. My health was semi-deteriorating for reasons unknown to me which began a snowball effect of missing school, grading low on quizzes and ultimately barely passing the semester.
All during those months there were the flings and the fun kissy moments with guys I’d date for a minute or so. We’d text then get bored of each other and either move to the no longer flirty place of friends, or we’d just stop talking. Either option didn’t phase me. I was fine. But at work things changed a bit.
I’m not a head honcho by any means, but management consideres themselves lucky to have me and they trust me to train every single employee that gets hired. So far, every single person I’ve trained has become one of the best employees they’d seen. Surpassing those who had been on the floor for more than a year, even. That’s because of all the useless knowledge I have of our product. That’s because I’m an excellent instructor and will change my methods of teaching depending on how people learn. It’s because I’m good at what I do–problem is…I stopped caring about what I do a long time ago. It’s just a job. It’s not a career move. I go and clock in, run my floor, teach people, fix problems, clean and go home.
I was fast approaching my first-year-in NY realizing all I had done in my first year was go to school, and work. I could have done this anywhere. I could have done this in any state. Bits of sadness started landing heavy on me and I was drinking whiskey to make it all go away. I was not drowning myself in it. I wasn’t miserable or helpless. I was consistent though. I’d leave my house at 7am for school from 8:30am-2:30p, and work from 3:30p -10p then head over to my pub, a home bar I found for myself, and have a couple cocktails.
May came and went, my year anniversary came and went and the end of my school year approached. I passed–that was the most important part. Then my days became about work only. They became about work–and that guy that worked with me, that I helped train, who winked at me.
Now, I’ve been winked at before. There are different kinds of winks. One day though, this guy looked over at me and winked the way a hottie looks when he winks. Every thing was in slow motion for that moment. I was in my blacks with a hat on backwards and my hair in two pig-braids. I glanced up and beneath the bill of his hat he winked and my stomach flipped. I laughed, I’m sure he didn’t know why –that’s if he saw me laugh–. I didn’t over think it, it had just been a while since someone winked at me like that. It was mysterious. But from that moment forward, every time I looked over at that guy I would imagine him winking. I would not show it on my face. I was his leader on that floor. I focused on work only. I didn’t talk to anyone about it. And whenever he’d work with me, at his arrival or departure he’d wink at me. I would notice, ever. single. time. But every time I would simply say “bye! Good work today” or something similar. We got along just fine at work. We liked the same music, he’s more my age than the late teens early twenties I work with. We’d bond over songs and movies we grew up watching. We’d laugh and be silly, but still–of course–remained professional, as it was a work environment. One night, we both were scheduled to close the store at 9p. I had been there since 9am, he had been there since 11am, and whiskey was next on my list. I didn’t say that to him though, we stepped off the elevator to exit the building and he said we should get some whiskey and without missing a beat I laughed and said I was heading to my pub anyway, and he could join.
My housemate Ro came out as well. We were drinkin’ and laughin’. She brought me a change of clothes. Simple stuff, Thundercats T-shirt and jeans, and I told him he was welcome to hang out with us. He lives in Jersey and has to get over the bridge before a certain time or they close the walk way and the busses over the bridge stop running. So I told him he could go, and catch his train and bus, or he could stay and crash at my house. I don’t offer my place to people. I trusted him though, he was a good guy. I knew he wouldn’t be stupid. So he thought about it and stayed out to play. We went from my pub, to The Liar, to Ching Chong to sing. And he sang some Guns n Roses. It was a good time. The side of me that drinks and kisses boys started to emerge though and I told him in my semi-drunken state not to kiss me because we work together. I told him I’m a kissing whoore (that’s two O’s) because I like kissing. I drink then find a cute guy and kiss him a bit, then call it a night. I told him he could not be that person. To which he responded by reaching up his left hand and placed it on my face, and his right hand to my leg and leaned it to kiss me.
I was drunk for sure. And now I’d crossed that line, a rule I laid out for myself a long time ago. Well–it can’t happen again! Few kisses later it was time to go. We were done drinkin’ and we’re all tired. He came home with us and instead of crashing on the couch, he slept next to me. I changed into my jammies, and he stayed in his work clothes, the entire night, and I slept on his chest with his arms wrapped around me. Best sleep I’d had in a long time. He woke up and headed home early and said thank you for letting him stay. After that night I knew I couldn’t work with him. I knew I’d want to kiss him again. We had a few shifts together and I behaved, and he behaved. Until that brief moment when I was leaving and I said “just kiss me already” to which he smiled, took his hat off wrapped his left arm around my head and swung me down dipping me with his right arm wrapped tightly around my body. Just like in a movie. Puke, right? Exactly–fooking awesome. =)
We spent more and more time together. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks. We’d talk on the phone, and text all day. We’d email each other. He began reading my blog, from the beginning because he wanted to learn about me. What my experiences were like. We’d talk about relationships, and jobs, and acting. I found out more about him. He’d been in the navy, he was also married and divorced. We actually had a lot in common. From small things to big things. That was…new, for me. Normally people I date just sort of “deal” with me. They meet my friends and they get sucked up in the life I have. They “tolerate” me. But this guy, he was different. In the best way. In ALL the best ways, he was different. We had similar goals. We were able to talk about–anything. Openly, and kindly. I actually liked walking around holding his hand, or walking with our arms wrapped around one another. Public display of affection wasn’t really something I was into. Kissing in public–that extreme crazy kind, was a no no. Small pecks used to piss me off. STOP KISSING ME IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. I would say. That was before him. Now, it’s as if no one else exists. And I’ll kiss him whenever I want. And he’ll kiss me whenever he wants.
His eyes. Dark and mysterious and endless. They are a magnet and every time he looks at me, I don’t want to look away. His smile is full and meaningful. It’s directed right at me. The sound of his voice is comforting. His kisses I could drown in, happily. Whether his hands are wrapped around my face, or back his hold; his embrace is full of life and it draws me to him like a warm shining light. When he is wrapped around me, nothing can hurt me. When he speaks to me I hear nothing else. He is captivating. He is the beautiful side of mystery. He is worth everything I have left. Sometimes he’ll wrap his arms around me and lean in and touch his forehead to mine and there is a comforting, protective energy I feel. I am safe with him. He will not lie to me. He will not purposely harm me with his words, and in the even he says something that could cause harm, I need only bring it to his attention for him to quickly erase it from existence. Just as with every kiss I slowly forget every other person I’ve ever kissed. As if they never truly mattered. As if everything was to prepare me for this…completion.
I do not need him.
I want him, always. Close to me. Hugging me. Laughing with me. Drinking with me. Laying next to me.
This is someone who believes in me, as no other boyfriend, or partner or mate had ever believed in me. He encourages me, supports me and wants to move forward with me. Not pulling me, or pushing me. Not dragging me or forcing me. Not changing me or hurting me or convincing me that I am wrong. If anything he says “we’re there, catch up already” with his warm endearing smile. He wants to make plans. He wants to stay in my life. I want him to stay in my life. This is someone who came to the hospital to be with me. He held my hand when I laid in bed sick. He brought me medicine and water and food. He caught me when I was dizzy and falling. This wonderful mystery of man lay next to me reading in bed. The simplicity of time spent together draws me to him with such force, and I love every minute of it. He is an artist, and actor, a friend of mine. He wrote me a sonnet. He speaks to me as an adult about fears and insecurities and honesty. He speaks about us, and what the future may hold. He tells me what he wants, and it involves me.
Perhaps the mystery, then, does not reside in who he is, or where he came from. But how he is able to know when I’m holding something back, or hanging on to something that keeps us apart. Perhaps the mystery is that, with him–I don’t have to be one. I don’t have to be solved, or fixed, or figured out. He can just–see me. Right into me. And it’s not scary, or harmful. It’s enlightening and rich with warm light and fuzzy feelings–the good kind. Maybe the mystery is so simple I have made it difficult for no reason. I’ve wanted him to just to myself to see where it goes. And soon, it will be time to show him to the world. Soon, it will be time to reveal that which I have kept veiled and so close to me.
Will showing his face, mean showing you mine as well? Soon the mystery will be revealed. The only real question, then, is which one of us has actually been hiding all this time?