(as seen in Rebelle Society)
Three years ago, we awoke in darkness and made our way to the beach, and there, surrounded by candles and gray dawn morning, forged a bond stronger than all the trials and tribulations of life, stronger than the glittering distractions the world throws at us, stronger than the whisperings of our scars and inner demons.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped fretting about the ways our edges were blurring together like the silver of a developing photograph beneath red light and iridescent water.
From birth I’ve felt I was meant to join, commingle, intersect, and become more real in the process.
Now, my nuances are more apparent, the subtle details of my soul more tangible, touchable, knowable.
You do this to me.
You make me the moon in an Ansel Adams’ landscape, the wet wide rivers of Venice, the ocher span of the Golden Gate Bridge before a backdrop of black ocean. You are the mountains aching as they reach for the sky, wooden gondola, lighthouse blinking a warm welcome home after a long journey.
Yes, it’s become hard to find the needle-thin line where you end and I begin — sometimes I wonder if it still exists at all.
I have moments of sorrow and joy inside of my body that may in fact be yours, one-liners dropping from my California-girl lips that sound like your droll Midwestern humor, and images appear in my mind born from the way you track the uneven edges of the roofs and eaves of dilapidated buildings.
I notice you humming jazz standards in the shower that you didn’t know when we met, and the way your the lilt of your language is changing, softening — except when you’re drunk, or murmuring my name as you pull me against your chest in the darkness of our bedroom, your face lit by streetlight.
My girlfriends gather to compare notes, bemoan their luck, blame your entire sex for their unhappiness, and yet they were the ones who raised their eyebrows when you moved into my San Francisco apartment from a life amid snow, cornfields, and lakes, after only six months of expensive late night phone calls and red eye flights. Isn’t it kind of fast?
They made bets while we rolled hot and heavy in the sheets, schemed about buying a house to fix up, dreamed of traveling together during our happy golden years, and made hundreds of pretty promises to one another in those quiet moments between waking and sleeping.
Promises that we’ve kept.
Again and again.
You do this to me.
You make me keep my promises, believe in myself in grown-up ways, renew the foolish dreams of my childhood.
You hold me like a bowl of rose petals in the rain, taunt me into torrential storms of anger and passion, bear the brunt of my thorns with flashing eyes and, later, forgiveness, and teach me to use those same thorns wisely in defense of home, young, and creativity.
So come, my gondola — sweep into my rivers, and we will dive forward and become even more one joined heart, one deep soul.