It was subtle at first, the reflection of me in your eyes.
But as it gained focus, so did the stories you told me. The curl on the side of your lip when you thought something was funny. You chewed it otherwise. Avoided eye-contact at times. And flew through your timeline like you knew your watch was nearing the end of its battery. You let me wind you up. Get you going again. And before we knew it our toes were cold, and the lack of blue in the sky called us to our other lives.
There was a fresh hell scent in the air, oddly undanced 80's movie themes, and helicopters.
The more we spoke the louder my head got.
Everything turned the poetry of it all into song and dance.
One that I fumbled in the end.
I'm hooked on the thought of historically failing. On how I got here. Sometimes it keeps me up at night. Other times it soothes my eyes closed. Either way, it has been the oddest thrust forward I've had in a long time. Progressively failing, and flailing around, and somehow losing the lust of one of the best humans I've ever met, has put me on a prime countdown for lift-off. That or I explode before I break our atmostphere.
Admittedly, I have never been great at relationships. Not now, not then, maybe not ever.
At first, I chalked it up to my partner. It was their fault that I didn't want to build a life with them, right? Wrong (mostly).
I believe I was living for the wrong moments. Moments that I believed I needed to be in a relationship to cultivate. Instead--through the realities of long-term monogamy--those moments become more and more scarce. And I grow in sadness. And I grow in disdain. Because those blips of perfect elation aren't coming. I can't remember the last one. And hope is soon lost, replaced with a resentment from both sides.
Wanting to be wanted is not a fundamental thing in everyone's life, and I can completely understand why. But for myself, and in this clouded attempt to better grasp what I want in my life, I need to look smaller. I've always found large impact in tiny spaces. I don't remember "that year I spent at school" or "my favorite job ever", instead I recall those few hours, sitting outside with classmates, joking about the trials of life we were all running blindly through. I remember the coworker that made me laugh so hard I nearly stopped breathing.
But how do I nurture smaller moments in time, in order to feel more alive? To be completely honest, I'm writing this now without any sure answers.
What I need to ensure, is that I'm far more alive in every second. More awake -- not a novelty for a serial observer -- and far less worried about the future.
No matter how many times we spoke about dying, there was a fire in us that brought us back to life. Westley went on a tear that they unfortunately assumed would chase me out the door like a homeowner protecting their family with a red-hot fire poker. But I'm only further endeared.
We're the namely. The folks you don't know are paying attention to the way you fight or find joy in public. We're listening to the tone in your voice, and checking it against our catalogue of expertise. People don't ask us who we are, how we are, or where we've been. Mostly because we've come and gone unnoticed. It's a practice that has little practicality if you're not a person that operates in a vocation in need of human understanding. Artists mostly.
You can find them on the street corner, gazing blankly through a crowd. You will see them on the bus, frantically sketching the faces surrounding them. You might even see me, wearing earbuds, listening to nothing, fascinated by the way you tell your partner about the day you had at work. Your inflections are intriguing. The place you keep your hands on the second date is noticiable.
And no matter where you go, observers will do what they do. It's why you connect with the things that they make. Because they made it, understanding you.
For me, Westley was the last person I thought I'd meet. Especially now. Someone who lashes chuckles, or tosses expletives around, as a sign of complete understanding through experience.
The best part is that regardless of all the worlds spinning, no matter what things are thrown our way, I am better off now, knowing that another me exists.