Butterflies and Fireworks
I don’t know how to express it properly, there’s so much depth to it, I nearly overlooked it. But I’ve been in such a hurry to get out of here, get on with it, feel good about my career again that I almost missed the fact that these are our places, our memories. It struck me as I was out running the other day and I passed the park behind Dan’s house. That park, where after our first date, both of us having talked for nearly 9 hours, he took me to sit in a gazebo and look at the stars. We got eaten alive by mosquitos and I kept thinking he’d make a move, but he didn’t. He waited. That’s our park, our beginning and when I look at it that adrenalin rush of butterflies and fireworks hits me again.
And Dan has been taking me out to dinner to our first important date spots. Last night we went to the mexican restaurant with the huge Frida Kahlo paintings where, in our first week of seeing each other, I put my elbow into the salsa while talking to him. I warned him that it wasn’t a one time deal, as my cheeks reddened,”I’m a clumsy bitch” I think were my exact words. And I haven’t disappointed 🙂
There’s the restaurant with “the best salmon in the world” in Dan’s opinion that we revisited as well. There’s Boomerangs along the water where we made our long (and late) breakfasts a habit. This is our place, we saw crocodile like lizards here, cursed the monsoon season, sweated our asses off – even at night, and listened to hours of midnight drumming from the locals.
And there’s the more intense memorable places. We’re leaving the bed we first had sex in. I didn’t know (call me a slut if you like, I don’t care) how I’d come to love and desire never waking up anywhere else. The first night I stayed over I couldn’t sleep, I was nervous, a little confused, and I had been sleeping alone for so long, I didn’t want to like staying over much. I recall with so much tenderness the first few mornings after I had spent the night. I woke up so early and finding myself next to this beautiful sleeping man, sometimes feeling his breath on my neck or my arm was indescribably glorious – and shocking. I’ll miss that bed, it has redefined my experience here in Asia, with it’s view of the city in the room I came to fall in love in. There’s the train station where I stomped my foot in anger at Dan and he laughed at me and just melted all my insecure frustration. And he realized how involved I was in the “us” part.
I’ve never had anyone care for me in quite the same way Dan has. It may sound odd, but he’s everything in one. He’s my parents love in the way I need it most, especially as an adult. Dan picked me up off the lobby floor the other night when I had blacked out after drinking (first for me, not a proud moment) and proceeded to clean up a few hours of vomit, wipe my head and calm me down. The next day when he had to work, he treated me gently, with worry and concern and when he came home he hugged me, told me not to scare him like that again. Where was the scathing disappointment, lack of affection and shame I was expecting? No, he worried I would die and then we couldn’t have kids together (to which I apparently replied in my drunk state ‘some mother I’d make!’). That’s love my friends. And when I apologized and promised to never do it again, he said, “oh, we’ll do it to each other a few times, but lets try not to make it too often”. He heals the broken heart of my childhood. The part of me that knew I could never trust anyone to take care of me if I became, even temporarily, undesirable, if I required work. He’s friendship love, he has my back, he gets upset if I’m treated unfairly, passed over for things at work. He’s a brother, he wants to beat up anyone who hurt me and he teases me about my shortcomings – forcing me to take myself less seriously He’s a lover, he tells me his favorite clothes on me (and off), he romances me with text messages, dates, sneaky kisses, showing up unexpectedly at my dressing room. He’s my partner, in all senses.
And I’m excited to leave here together, as he is, but part of me also wants to take the time to see and take note of all the things we made ours. This has been our beginning, unexpected as it was. All the times we walked to the river and talked, went to the grocery store, cooked in his kitchen, hung out in my old apartment here and hung our with roommate. We got to know each other and began to be someone new ourselves. It’s a beautiful, weird sadness I feel about leaving. I have felt the most terrible I have ever felt professionally, I am unhappy and chomping at the bit to leave. And yet through that I have found the love of my life and experienced some of the best things. That deserves a moment of reverence.
(Crista’s love life before Dan)
I didn’t know, when I agreed to apply for job I didn’t really want in a country I’d never really been aware of, that that country would become such a huge part of my history. Weird. and cool…