I saw a guy on Monday that I went on a date with once. It was one of those whimsical dates. We had fish by the sea. It felt like coming home a little bit. I think the world was trying to introduce me to something for which I wasn’t ready yet. Looking back, that date, more than the others, prepared me for Anja. Looking back through butterfly effect glasses, it might as well have been him.
Yesterday wasn’t a great day. They say recovery is a habit and it is. I was feeling quite low about myself. One hour at my friend’s citizenship party and I’d call it a night. Tomorrow would be full of things, too. Then he arrived. Like an old friend entering the scene.
As soon as I head over, we hug, and he begins telling me that he talks about me when he’s teaching storytelling, on an almost weekly basis, eight years on. “It’s when I begin to talk about tension-building” he says, and I laugh loudly, after which he eyebrows “you know what moment I’m talking about, right?” I say yes but I don’t. Back then, I was too drunk to really remember anything with accuracy.
He turns towards to his friends and continues. “I lean in to kiss her, but she rejects me. And I’m so nervous, thinking ‘gosh, did I really misread all the signs?!'” Apparently, then I said these words, which…:
Wait. This is the last moment that you and I have never kissed.
As he was telling this story, my entire body lit up. Partially turned on, but predominantly struck with delight. Who is that person? Can I have her number? Oh hold on, he’s talking about me.
Two things can be true at once, and for a moment, my experience of myself felt finely in balance. The universe can hold me as the asshole I see in myself, but also as the person whose butterfly wings can make a small change.
I spent the rest of the evening meeting kind strangers. White cis gay men who wanted to join the queer meetup I run, where my friend and I met. Kinfolk, effortlessly introduced as we blew Cat whispers at each other.
My friend looked stunning. An impeccable sense of style, a smile larger than the world, a citizenship bigger than we’d ever ask of him. I knew he was suspended mid-air in all sorts of areas of his life, but, looking at him, I suspected he had arrived somewhere long before any of us ever would.
Today, grabbing coffee in the neighborhood, I meet an acquaintance who’s on sabbatical until the end of the year, spending his time taking action lessons, storytelling workshops. I ask him if he has ever heard of the girl who almost rejected a kiss by the sea and he bursts out laughing.