Monday, July 19, 2010

courting.

last week i got a text from a man i barely know. he was visiting another country, and described how it looked there at night...how the curtains in the old hotel were big and heavy, that when he pushed them back they revealed an even older city, and how he left the window open so the breeze could come through. he said it was romantic, and that it made him think of me. it was flattering to think that, in the very few conversations we'd had, this man had paid attention. to me. just me. if the age gap weren't 17 yrs wide i'd run off with him. instead, i am savoring a little taste of old fashioned courtship.

courting lives in the interstices of dating. it is what happens during the time you spend apart. last year i felt like i was being courted, for a very brief time. i recall exactly the moment we met, nearly running right into each other in my friend's kitchen as i walked in and he walked out. oh my is he handsome, said the tingle in my belly. normally i would've walked away, sight set, finger on the trigger. i'm still not sure why i didn't. it was a while before we met again, a while before he asked to see me, and weeks before we so much as kissed. kisses being the ammunition for future wars, of course. in the the first few weeks, though, he did everything just right. we didn't see each other often, but every day my phone would announce his text message hellos, smiley faces, how he thought i was cute, and how his shirt smelled like me after i left. i wasn't worried about what we'd become. for once it was fine as wine, simple as syrup. i remember the day it changed. it was still very early on. he stopped in to drop off my jacket. if i could've painted and framed his face that day, i would've titled it "unease." he didn't hug or kiss me goodbye, and i knew something had soured. from then on, it grew into my most bemusing romance...ah, the limitations of nomenclature...there was no more romance to it. but there was...something? and it was odd. as the spaces between our visits became wider, the way we knew each other became deeper. relationships are canyons, it seems. this is why we learn to build bridges. or, all too often, we don't.

another lesson to write down for the books. except the lesson in it is still cloudy. is it that i should restrict all my romances to one month, perhaps two? then there would be no battles, no wars. i would live in eternal peacetime. and i would die young. people would say i had an undetected heart condition. it would be partially true.

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