ME: I saw a movie tonight, it made me think of you. Sorry, it’s late, I shouldn’t have sent this anyway. Don’t write back.
Then I wait breathlessly hoping he will write back, waiting for that sound on my iPhone that I have a text… waiting… waiting [insert iPhone text received sound] my heart drops than leaps… it’s him.
FIRST LOVE: You tell me not to contact you so I don’t. Then you write to me and tell me not to write back? Don’t you know this hurts me just as much as it hurts you?
I start to cry, alone in my apartment. My St Bernard looks at me. She’s worried I reassure her, I’m okay. But I’m not. I type, “I’m sorry, I saw a movie tonight and it reminded me of you and it made my heart hurt.” Then I delete it. Then I type..
ME: I bet you didn’t know that I always think of you at Christmas.
It’s true I always do.. for 20 years, I’ve thought of him at Christmas. I never celebrated Christmas before him, and my first introduction was strange and magical. I remember walking in his front door, we’d been dating a few months so I knew his parents and sisters but that was it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a huge decorated tree with presents covering the floor of his living room. I’d never seen so many presents. But before I could take in the full beauty of it and the incredible aromas that were wafting up my nose, I found myself in a bear hug with a woman I did not know. She was telling me she loved me. This went on, from person to person, like a reception line at a wedding, strangers hugging me like I was family, all telling me they loved me. And he had a huge Italian family! So there was a lot of hugging and a lot of ‘love.’ Later when I expressed the strangeness of it to FL, he responded that if he loved me, his family loved me. Coming from a non-affectionate bent and broken extended family, (on both parent’s sides), I actually kinda fell in love with them too, just because he loved them… [insert iPhone text received sound]
FL: I still remember every present you bought me that year.
I was deliberating on whether or not to make a clever joke, or stay along the line of what my heart was truly feeling… broken, when [insert iPhone text received sound]
FL: and how you wrapped all 12 of them and kept them in your dorm room to torture me.
I did do that. I loved buying presents for him, practical things, sentimental things, meaningful things, gag gifts.. and even more I loved wrapping them each with such perfection that you almost didn’t want to open them you just wanted to stare at them. But he didn’t want to stare, nor did he want to wait. Though that was all I would permit him to do, just stare at them… tortured. Looking back I did a lot of that… torturing him. So maybe I deserve what I’m getting now, or what I’m not able to get now.
ME: You were like a kid when you opened presents. I always remember no meat before midnight and then a huge feast of it after mass.
I never went to mass. He didn’t go either. We’d stay at his house and pig out on seafood. His mom was an incredible cook. And then after midnight a whole new buffet of meatballs and sauce (excuse me GRAVY, please don’t let his mom see that I wrote sauce), sausages, steak, if it was meat it was on the table. I’d never seen two full dinners like this before. And then dessert! Don’t get me started.
I slept on the couch that year. Every Christmas after that I’d sleep in his bed and he’d sleep on the couch, but that first year I wanted to sleep in the room with the tree.
ME: In the movie tonight he picked out a song that was their song.
I knew I was in love with him the first week I met him. First, he somehow got into my dorm room, put a tape in my tape deck and stuck a note to it that said “press play. This is how I feel about you.” It was Eric Clapton’s, Wonderful Tonight. I’d never heard it before. I grew up on Run DMC, and by college was a hairband only girl. Anyway, I pressed play and then rewind and then play and then rewind over and over again. It was the most romantic thing that had ever happened to me. Until the next morning, when he showed up at my room to wake me up with a hot chocolate (I had told him it was my favorite drink). I knew in that moment that I was in love with him. But I wouldn’t be able to say those words to him for a very very long time. More unfair torture that I was responsible for. [insert iPhone text received sound]
FL: What movie did you see?
ME: Blue Velvet. What are you doing up so late?
FL: I don’t sleep well and I saw you had texted, so now I’m wide awake.
Why did I start this? Why? Why? Why?! I just wanted to hear his voice, see his face, touch his skin, run my finger over the lips that I will never kiss… If only I hadn’t texted him. If only I had just blogged about it and gotten it out of my system so I wouldn’t do anything stupid…
Oh. Phew. That’s exactly what I did. Saved by the anonymity of cyber space. Luckily, he’ll never know how much I miss him tonight.