close to perfect

I am sad, but also mostly just fucking really angry.

Because you don’t meet a person in a week and fall in love: actual, knockdown, starry-eyed, love.

Not at this age.  His age. My age.

Not where you have an “our song” and nicknames and inside jokes and plan all the things you’re going to cook and eat and try and see together. Where you admit all your flaws to the other, and you want all of it anyway.  And admit all your darkest desires to the other, and you want all of it with enthusiasm. Where even before your first real date, he’s practicing making your coffee the way you like it — for the morning you inevitably wake up together.

Where you spend hours, actual straight hours, staring into each other’s eyes because to look away would be to miss a flicker of something divine and profane.

“I’ve never met anyone like you, and I’ve looked my whole life,” he said.

Where you find “our” little family-owned Italian restaurant that you plan to visit monthly.  When you trade clothing in the back seat of a car at the end of the date so you can take something home of the other to sleep with. When he texts you the next morning to tell you, scandalously, exactly how he “slept with” the item you gave him.

“I didn’t think you could be real,” he said. “Someone I liked to be with and also fantasized about. That’s usually two different people. There has never been just one person I wanted to be with romantically and also sexually.”

When he brings a red rose to you on the first date but then leaves it in his car, feeling bashful, worried it might embarrass you.

Where you think, hard and long, for the first time since you were 26 years old, staring at the ceiling at 3:00 am in terror, about what they will say behind you if you pack one bag and leave one note and just run away forever, to protect your precious new soap-bubble of a secret. What your best girlfriend knowingly, ruefully, calls “that hand on the truck door handle” moment.

Where he’s also so ready to run away with you that he tells you sternly not to even joke with him about it, because he would be at your door in an hour — and then educates you on why of course you two would run away to the Mediterranean and not some banana republic like Belize. “Be careful with me,” he warns you with liquid blue eyes, “because I would follow you straight off a cliff.”

When you lose 3 pounds since you met him because you’re lovesick and have no appetite. But when you’re with him, you happily eat oysters and exchange stories of the beaches you visited as children. And every bottle of wine he selects is perfect, even wines you hated the month before, and you realize your tastebuds are lovesick too.

When he tells you that you deserve every perfection in life, and you reply that you don’t believe in perfection because perfection is a stagnant condition where there is no more to achieve and it signals the end of growth and– he interrupts your diatribe with a kiss to say, “Close to perfect, then.”

I knew within five minutes of breathing the same air. Every conversation, every gesture, was in sync. We finished each other’s sentences after the first hour.  We couldn’t stop texting, talking, meeting.  We couldn’t stop kissing.

If that was the kind of high that people chase with heroin or meth or cocaine, then I finally understand.

I never saw “Before Sunrise,” not for any particular reason other than circumstance. I won’t see it now.  I can’t listen to Van Morrison right now or the Rolling Stones either. Or fucking Bad Company. I mean, come the fuck on. Bad Company.  How can I reasonably be upset that someone ruined Bad Company for me?

One week. It defies logic. I have grieved for the loss longer than the length of time I even knew he existed.  I can still smell him, the very molecules of his scent in my nose, inhaled deeply from a fucking gray t-shirt like I could ingest him, his cells inside my lungs to live forever.

And I’m so fucking angry.

Because if it wasn’t real, then I’m hurting for nothing, plus I’m the worst reader of people that ever existed.

And because what if it was.

And I just keep throwing myself at other opportunities and wondering why they don’t measure up.  And they don’t measure up because I’m the smartest person I know, the most resilient —

yet I unthinkably, ridiculously, self-indulgently, embarrassingly, fell in love at first sight and it lasted one week and I’m a fucking idiot and I’m just so angry.


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