We met on a Friday evening, on the twenty third of January, in the year that we would re-elect President W. Bush. One of those cold evenings where you can see your breath, but there's no snow to make all the cold worth it and you mostly just hurry to wherever it is that your headed.
I hesitate to call it love at first sight (LAFS, if you will) but there was something. Some unexplainable force working against our better judgement. That force had been tailing him for a few months already by the time it hit me full in the face that chilly, January evening in upper northwest DC. It led us to the same obscure corners of campus at the same obscure hours of the day, and it led us to inexplicably seeking out the other's company, even when we had far too many pages to read before class the next day.
If you ask either of us, we're quick to admit that if we'd known that mother fate would discern us capable of finding our forevers at eighteen, we would have laughed, scornfully so, in fact. Who plants roots with someone before you can even legally drink? Before you've voted in a presidential election? Before you realize it is certainly far past time to shave off those sideburns and embrace the changing hair landscape that is to come?
The beginning was complicated. It's always complicated, though, no? There's never an easy transition when it comes to that strength of just right for you kind of love. It was messy, and exhilarating, and painful, and it was everything I imagined when I was ten, and more, much, much more. My Barbie's dramas had nothing on us those first six months.
And when it settled and slowed and solidified that fall, it felt as natural as the green becoming gold on the trees that lined Massachusetts Avenue. Loving him became as natural as blinking and breathing, and his heart, I carried it with my heart, as if I always had.
My black peacoat, that first official J. Crew purchase, kept me warm
that winter, but never as warm as I was right there in my insides, in
between those breath-caught lungs and that love drowned heart.
Which might be in the running for the cheesiest thing I've ever written
down outside of the journal I kept when I was fourteen, but there it
Love you, Spud, and I always shall.