As a writer, I tend to narrate my life in my head, especially when looking back in reflection, or in regret. As a writer, I tuck parts and pieces of my life into most everything I set words to. As a writer, I want to act as” historian” to the story of us right from the beginning. I know this is something rare, something unexpected, something glorious, and something forever. I don’t want to forget a single thing.
So, I’m going to write about us. About our love and our life and everything in-between. Our story will have a soundtrack, of course, because music is one of our deep connections. He is music to me actually. Music and magic and forever.
I wasn’t looking for a relationship. I wasn’t looking for love. I’m not sure I was actually looking for anything. I was stung from an unexpected break-up, feeling lost and bruised up, and confused. It was all fresh, the surprise and the pain, but I was brushing myself off and getting back up and around. I’d reconnected with friends, I’d returned to writing and to a writing group, I’d started to become me again, especially as I spent time examining the wreckage of the relationship that was now gone, identifying so many toxic aspects, questioning why I’d stuck and stayed, and realizing that it was actually a blessing that it was over.
I was also driven to write a profile. I wrote pieces of it out on post-it notes, finally landing on one that felt honest (maybe too much so) and not contrived. I don’t know why I was determined to do this. The thought of dating someone seemed too soon, and not what I wanted. And yet, I persisted. I put up a profile on an online dating app and then threw my phone in my purse. I didn’t feel driven to look or to try to connect. On the contrary, I wanted to avoid it completely. It doesn’t make sense. I know it doesn’t. But this is the way it happened.
It was a particularly bad night of insomnia when I saw him. After 1am on a Sunday night/Monday morning. I was bleary-eyed and exhausted, though sleepless. I kept scrolling thru photos, disinterested and yet still driven to keep looking. Then I saw him. The first thought was “kind eyes”. The second was “I recognize you”. It wasn’t recognition from someone I’d ever known, though I felt like part of me did know him. I don’t quite know how to explain the feeling. I’ve tried to sort it out more clearly, but the best I can say is that I felt like I’d found something I’d lost and that I knew I had to talk to him.
I “swiped” right (it is right, right? – asks the directionally challenged girl) and the “it’s a match” flashed across my finger smudged phone screen. I wanted to say something right then, but it was too late, or too early, so I put my phone away, tucked myself under a blanket and went to sleep, because after that moment of “matched connection” I could fall asleep.
“The Ship Song” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
It was mid-morning/early afternoon when I heard from him. I wish we still had those early exchanges, but they were lost when we individually deleted the app that brought us together. If only there was a way to get them back. “Our first album” we’ve deemed it, lost in the ether. Like if The Clash’s first album was accidentally erased. No more “Janie Jones”.
But we have each other, and all that’s come from that first conversation. I’ll save that for next time…
“The Ship Song” (live, 1999) by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Though this song never played in these early pre-us moments, this song resonates with our “history”.
“We make a little history baby,
every time you come around.”