Dating : since our first date

h2>Dating : since our first date

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and it feels like I should be over you by now 
a lot of the time I think I am but then 
I’ll see you and my heart will leap into that space between my lungs and my throat and my breath becomes my heartbeat and I will want to put my hands on either side of your face and stroke your stubbly chin and I will want to tell you absolutely everything and absolutely nothing and I will ache to be held by you because your arms around me feel like home and I won’t want to step too close to you because smelling your cologne will make me want to cry

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and it’s not the same
the way I feel now is not the same as the way I felt then but 
it’s not nothing 
or at least it’s not as nothing as it maybe should be 
you said 
“it was only three dates” 
you’re right
but also 
it was three dates and a personal tragedy and a birthday and a thoughtful gift and a celebratory outing and a night of im-making-a-decision-and-saying-this-is-done-but-i’m-still-not-going-to-be-able-to-resist-setting-your-hand-gently-on-my-cheek-and-kissing-your-palm-and-slowdancing-with-you-to-the-music-playing-outside-the-restaurant-and-making-out-with-you-in-the-car-outside-your-house and emotional run-ins at work and late night phone calls and support and challenges and questions and answers and advice and sharing and jokes and you were becoming my best friend okay 
you were becoming my best friend 
and I guess it’s the loss of that 
that I’m upset about now 
it’s knowing the kind of introspection and wisdom and joy that being close to you brings to me
and not being able to have that anymore 
i hate that I’m upset about it
i wish i was ok with it 
i wish i was better at goodbyes

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and sometimes with no warning, in the middle of an excel spreadsheet or ordering a coffee or preheating the oven I’ll get a flash
you in a dark green Roots sweatshirt
throwing your head back and shimmying your shoulders slowly to the music playing at that restaurant, never able to pass up moving to a jaunty tune 
or your face just above mine at the cocktail bar, your eyes sparkling, your arm slung tight around my shoulders, you gaze down at me and say, you’re almost making me forget what i’m going through with my family, i feel like a giddy kid around you, i haven’t felt this way in ages
or you six inches away from me at the small bar table
face alight with the candle, just been relighted, we blew it out by accident, drink in hand, deep dimples creasing your face, animatedly telling a story involving your Scottish friend, reenacting, accent and all 
or you holding my tipsy head in your lap after my birthday party that you drove to at 2am after you finished a busy shift at work, leather journal in hand for writer-me on my living room couch, stroking my hair, smiling at me, ahh, you’re so cute right now, you keep saying in your deep melty voice, my eyes are a little dizzy from drink but your voice is perfect, if a voice’s timbre could be affection, if a voice’s depth could be a grin, yours is both right then
or you on my white sheets with my black matte guitar, shirtless, the light from my neon pink flamingo illuminating your chest, your silver necklace glinting, your dark hair messy
playing Shallow but changing the lyrics so that they’re silly 
and about me 
you glance over at me and smile
my name on your lips is soft 
my nickname on your lips is fire 
you are my 
these flashes
each just a second 
they hit me in a way that knocks me out briefly
a little because of pain but mostly because it always blows me away the amount of comfort and happiness those tiny memories carry

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and in every other aspect of my life I feel like I’m doing ok 
so there’s a part of me that’s so mad at you for the way you’ve stuck in me
I know it’s not your fault 
but why can’t i get you out of my system
in a way that seems to last

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and I can’t figure it out now
I can’t figure out if you want me to leave you alone or talk to you or just do I what I want or respect wishes you haven’t made clear or ask you to hang out or pretend you don’t exist or shower you with attention or pine over you or get over you or hate you or love you or feel absolutely nothing either way 
i mean
you keep saying that you hope I understand you and I’m doing what I can, truly, I’m trying to connect what you say (one thing) and what you do (other things) because it’s not about your commitment to what you say, you keep saying you’ve stuck to what you’ve said, it’s not about that it’s about the energy you put forward and the way you look at me and the vibes you give 
and I know that sounds silly but it’s a real thing, it’s your vibes, they’re dissonant, they don’t seem to commit wholly to one feeling or opinion or notion about me and didn’t you say you don’t think guys and girls can be friends so is that what you’re doing, trying to keep us at a distance so we’re not really friends but then why show up for me why want my attention and my care fuck it’s so hard for me when i don’t understand what I mean to someone
regardless I’m trying my best to understand you but I have to wonder ultimately
do you understand you?

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and there are men who are interested in me
men I’m interested in 
men I’m dating, sleeping with
and they are great 
they are kind and they are funny and they are smart and they are handsome and they want me to be a part of their stories 
and being next to them I feel lucky and glad 
but my chest likes to jab sometimes and remind me sharply, fleetingly
these feelings are the normal good ones that everyone eventually has
they are the ones you have to get used to 
because most of us only get one person in a lifetime
who feels like magic

i’m still getting used to those jabs
and to the whiplashed hello and the goodbye of the magic

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
i was so nervous about it because what if we didn’t get along in real life as well as we’d been getting along over text 
and what if when you picked me up in the car you’d take me somewhere and murder me 
and what if you’d read my writing and you knew that I had baggage and it would affect your perception of me 
and what if it was awkward, there were weird heavy silences and nothing to say 
and what if I didn’t like the menu at that place or what if I drank too much or what if it ended too soon 
but I felt a warmth when you hugged me
and in the car we talked about spirituality and about the idea of soulmates 
you said you didn’t think we only each had one soulmate, we could have several but it was about choosing the right one
and you’d read my writing and you knew I had baggage and it didn’t bother you 
and any silences weren’t heavy 
and you are the reason I tried octopus for the first time that night and I did drink too much and I put my legs up on the bench because I’m inclined to get comfortable when I drink but even if I was uninhibited I felt good being me around you I felt nice and it didn’t end too soon I got home at 1something
the place was closing down when we left and then you kissed me outside my place and you said “I’d like to take you out again” and I said “I’d like that too” and even then, drunk, exhausted tripping giddily up the stairs in my house in the dark I thought to myself how unusual it was 
how rare, how gorgeous, how raw, how effortless
the goodness of it all 
the easiness of it all 
like we’d known each other for years

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
and as much as I complained about how intensely you stared at me that night
i’d give a whole lot to have you staring at me right now 
because being stared at by those fucking stunning eyes made me feel like the most interesting, brilliant, beautiful woman on the planet
our first date made me feel like oh
this was the thing, the thing all the other first dates had been missing
it made me feel like we had all the time in the world — like time had stopped, even, or like we could control it, because we were powerful, the two of us together, a force to be reckoned with
it made me feel full it made me feel safe it made me feel heard and seen 
it made me want to know you inside and out
it made me think about how fun it would be to spend a lazy rainy afternoon at home in sweats with you 
it made me invest in your dreams and want the very best for you 
it made me hopeful it made me terrified but it also made me think maybe this was the very reason those other ones hadn’t worked out 
because maybe it was supposed to happen this way 
because maybe it was supposed to be you 
supposed to be us 
and i’m sorry that i haven’t stopped missing those feelings yet

it’s been three months and one day
since our first date
i’m sorry that i haven’t stopped missing you yet

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