Saturday, September 24, 2016

Perfect Nights.

Recently, I went somewhere that I'd gone to with a boy I liked. It hasn't been on my mind, so I didn't remember until I got there. And then I remembered so suddenly that it was like I crashed my car into an invisible wall. Like I was going to have to let go of the steering wheel and melt into a pool of nostalgia.

We went there one night and just talked and talked. That night, I felt like I was seeing more of him than I ever had. I asked him questions about himself and he answered, while I looked at him in the darkness. It felt so natural. 

For a while now we had been drawn to each other, but it seemed like something that didn't quite make sense to either one of us--until this night, when it became evident that there was a part of him and a part of me that fit into the same cozy spot in the universe. I felt like he was letting me have this little part of him, and I was ready to take it and tuck it into my heart and take care of it. I remember thinking, "I just want him to be here next to me all the time." It was clear that that would be a happy way to live.

It was a perfect night. 

And that, maybe, is what is so painful--why nostalgia melts you into a puddle of heartache. Because we had a perfect night. When I look into my past, it is punctuated with perfect nights. There are benches and stoops and balconies and couches and cars and front lawns that I will always remember. Because I sat there with another human being for a few hours on a perfect night and talked and listened and laughed and felt so connected.

But. Not a single one of those boys is here next to me now. A perfect night is a punctuation, not necessarily a pattern. It doesn't mean you're fated to be together. It just means that, for a little while, when you think of him, you'll drive into this invisible wall thinking, "I felt so close to him. Why can't I feel that way now?"

It just means that, when I look back on my string of strained and expired relationships, there above the rubble hover a few little bright stars--the memories of perfect nights.

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