This week’s Falling in Love on Fridays story comes from a lovely lady who would prefer to stay anonymous. Her tale — like so many others — is about that one guy, that one connection, that chemistry that is so intoxicating that it’s bittersweet. I won’t say much more (the blog truly speaks for itself), but I will say, I’ve seen her in that red dress. And it’s true — it’s infamous. Even if she’s not 19 anymore. Submit your own Falling in Love on Friday blog here and read past submissions here. Enjoy!
The Way We Were (And Weren’t)
I will probably always regret not letting him fuck me on the kitchen floor of a tiny apartment in another country at 3 am after polishing off a whole bottle of whiskey between us.
He quoted the opening lines of Elliott Smith’s “Say Yes.” I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl, who’s still around the morning after. It would just be sex, he insisted. That’s it. We didn’t need to touch those pesky feelings. He quoted Chelsea Hotel #2. Giving me head on the unmade bed. I quoted Neruda. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees. He recited it back in Spanish.
But I said no.
I said no because a minute earlier he’d said the most beautiful words in the English language, after cellar door, were my name. I said no because the rest of Say Yes includes the lines “situations get fucked up” and “feel like shit the morning after.”
Instead we stayed up all night, on the kitchen floor, talking about life, the universe, and everything. We went to sleep after he kissed my forehead and said “It’s okay that you’re crazy, I just wish you were better to yourself. You are my favorite person.”
He’s the only one who could call me crazy and mean it with affection.
We met in the mountains in the usual way, through mutual friends at a party and a shared love of literature, music, whiskey, and doing all three at the same time. My 19 year old crush was immediate but rapidly fleeting and when he moved across the country a few years later, he’d call me drunk at midnight and ask what I knew about beat poetry. I’d call him from shows of bands he’d introduced me too.
The universe has pushed us together since the day we met and we have instead put literal oceans between us. We are travelers and wanderers. We are people who are in a constant state of movement and flux, people who buy plane tickets to new places because we can. When he tells me about the girl he slept with in the south of Spain, and I mention in passing the photographer I kissed in France, there is no jealousy. When I tell him to stop beating himself up over a girl he’s been seeing it’s because she doesn’t want him, not because I do.
We are a great love that can never be. It’s the distance we need – the pining, the longing, the poetic desperation. Together, we’re just friends who, only when the mood strikes, are hopelessly in love with one another. It’s impossible to love him as much as I miss him.
When he dropped me off at the airport, we said our tearful goodbyes and hugged for an eternity.
Even unshowered, exhausted, and in an oversized sweater, I know he still thinks of me as being 20 years old and in my famous red dress.
“You know, eventually, you’ll have to let me go.”
“I know, but I don’t want to.”
He walked away and called me by my full name as he said goodbye and I called him by his, which, for whatever reason, is what we’ve always done.
“I’ll see you in South America, then?” I called to him, remembering his upcoming move.