She wore a short skirt that day. Her blonde hair suited her tan skin. The strands fell loosely over her shoulders, framing her pretty face. Even when things were undoubtedly sad in our relationship, there was still so much smiling. We walked to the beach near her house. I made my attempts to convince her to stay and go camping with me. She didn’t feel like she should. It’s over, after all. We stopped by the convenient store and picked up fresh batches of our favorite vices. Some clove cigarettes, a bottle of wine, and a lighter for the cannabis I had packed. Why was it always so fun? We made our way to the beach and plopped a seat, gazing into the lake. There was a little boy with a mop of curly black hair. ‘He looks like you.’ she said. I smiled at her. I soaked her in, taking in as much as I could so it would last me a lifetime. There wasn’t a lot to say. The awkwardness blossomed into giggles. We smiled into each others’ eyes. She covered her face as she blushed, but quickly her eyes peeped through from behind her hands. She had such bright eyes. There was a line from this Los Campesinos song that always reminded me of her. I had first fell in love with it on my way to Philadelphia, around the time I had fallen for her. “Graceful, gracious companion, with your eyes of doe and thighs of stallion.” The words fit her effortlessly. Her eyes sparkled with all the words she wanted to say. The white blouse she wore rippled in the wind. she had a train to catch.
I think her and I got along in a way that I appreciate more and more, the more and more people I see. There was an airiness to our bond that gave us both a sense of freedom when we were together. There was the comfort, as well. When we were intertwined in bed, I felt a mutual sense of contentment. It was not the fleeting airiness that comes from being detached. It was a lightheartedness that originates in amusement and manifests into a thirst for adventure. I remember when we had finally made it back to my car from the forest during our mushroom trip. I was laying in the driver’s seat with the seat pulled down and my feet out of the window. We listened to the same song I had shown her years ago in my room in Wheaton. It was a song by Philip Glass that felt like antiquity. We were covered in muck and still vibrating from the psychedlics. That moment felt like it could last for eternity. I took a drink of the water and rested my head close to her. I looked at her upside down through a mess of hair, my hand in hers. The moonroof was open and the sun streamed into the car. It all felt so playful and so, in a burst, I spurted out water from my mouth. Much of it escaped into mist, reflecting in the light. Some fell as globs and droplets on my face, on our hands, and on her legs. I felt so much love for her.
There is, of course, sadness and betrayal that courses through our relationship as well now. All of it is my doing. And, yet, when she chooses to pick up my phone calls, it seems like we breathe freely again. It’s like a river that’s been polluted but still flows fiercely. My hope is that I have not left behind so many toxins that the damage is permanent. The thought of a flourishing family with her has infected my mind lately. I remember even mundane errands were full of life with her. It was rewarding, I think, because there was always humor. She has a way of giving me shit that reigned in my problematic ego. She had a way of defining my masculinity that was empowering. I like how she thinks, there is a bubbliness to it and an opinion that is directed. She seeks knowledge and pursues ideals in her own way. Most of all, I love her relationship to pleasure. There is a lovely grace to it that makes you want to give her more.
Living in this house in Nairobi with a young family shined light on the beauty of having children. It also showed me the importance of being with someone you can have fun with. There are moments with her that sparkle vividly in my memory. I remember how it felt to sit up in that tree with her. We walked around Pilsen and found the pup named Whiskey. I loved exploring with her. That was what made it so fun. It could be anything and it was just so fucking fun. Once we split several pills of vicodin between the two of us and treked up to a sushi place. On the way there we felt a bit giggly but it wasn’t really hitting us, so she suggests we smoke the blunt I had rolled up. “Why not?” she asked; Her not me! I loved it. I love how she embraced the new. It made things so lighthearted.
I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I think I’m scared of never having a real relationship with her. It would be deserved, of course, but it devestates me. Perhaps it won’t happen, I don’t know. One of the last lines of that song by Los Campesinos goes, “I’m not sure if it’s love anymore, but I’m thinking of you fondly for sure.” I always found it to be peculiar. The way love rots away after some time, leaving behind only soft memories to occasionally come back to.