subject line: the most burning question


Nashville, tn

The first question everyone asks me is “Have you guys talked?” As if that’s the qualifying characteristic of something real.

But I always answer with the same, longing, “no.” I’m sure they can hear it in my voice, how much I want to hear from you. I’ve built a laundry list of things in my head that I want to talk to you about, starting with: (1) Playoff Hockey; (2) The Big Sur Landslide, and (3) how are you? It ended so abruptly and way too casually for the feelings that I held.

When I observe the thing from 30,000 ft, it makes sense. There’s a difference that lies between us that feels unbreakable. This far up, it looks black and white. But when you’re in the thing, it gets messy. Emotions make everything messy. But they also make things beautiful. I hope to always choose beauty, even if it’s painful. The messy, beautiful, thing is what it was to me. No one had ever captured my attention that quickly or fully. I wanted nothing more than to just be around you, and to hear what you would say next. You always surprised me. People noticed our interaction the first day we talked. It’s hard to overlook that scene when two humans look at one another and say, “Oh…you too? I thought I was the only one…”

In my 29 years, I had never had that happen. I was scared to admit the weight that it held. I didn’t tell many people and I told myself that I was holding it loosely, but the calluses on my hands today beg to differ.

When left alone to my own chaotic thoughts, every wall that I’ve ever built over the years went up, every question towards you was asked. But, then you would show up at my door and the storm would calm. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was on the same page as someone. There was no push and no pull, no exhausting game of asking “does he like me?” or “what does this text mean?”. We both knew.

I’ve learned that when your best friend looks at you and says, “I just love the qualities he’s bringing out in you, the ones that I know are there, but you’re waking up to them and it’s beautiful to see”, is a true indicator of something good. And it was.
You came into my left unexpectedly and left in the same fashion. Leaving me here in a whirlwind of questions that add up to “why?” But the most burning of them all is still “how are you?”