February 13, 2013

The before and after effects of January 31st.

     When I sat beside him, he'd clap too loud, and I calmed him down. I'd hold his hands together until they were silent, and even got butterflies in my stomach when he stopped at once, wondering if with even the smallest, most insignificant touch of my hands, he felt those stupid butterflies, too. It didn't matter where we were--the Art Gala on campus, a poetry reading downtown, or cuddled up next to one another, watching a movie--he was a pinball, I, the player, his containment. Occasionally, I would submit, letting him play the games. In auditoriums, the city library, or anywhere else we were supposed to sit still and be quiet, we would shamelessly flirt, the way boys and girls do. We kicked back and forth in a series of leg banter, and I would mess up his perfectly quaffed hair a number of times. His reflexive reaction to that bit was quick and slightly pathetic, which massively encouraged me. Most of the time, though, he was a nightmare of wiggles to sit beside, and during a large majority of whichever event we attended, I pleaded with him to keep still. I was irritated when he'd fidget, and he knew that. He would look over to me with that ridiculously personable smile, the one that said, "Just remember how adorable I sometimes am", and after that, I would. I would remember. I knew other people didn't see it in him, and I even knew why. He was a tornado of emotions, couldn't keep focus on serious matters for too long, and was a big, obnoxious box of chatter. I was aware of it all, and still didn't shy away. I was good, and a driving force that he'd told me he needed to stabilize him. I couldn't be scared of any of those things because he needed me, which was a problem, considering I didn't need him in the least. However, all of that still didn't change the fact that even when he drove me to my wit's end, I was on his side. He had quirks that charmed me. Like, the way we'd argue the architectural differences that made The Vatican a Baroque phenomenon, rather than one of the High Renaissance. I hated that I couldn't change his mind even though I was right, but loved the way he fired me up. He was an impetuous blend of chaos that I couldn't restrain, and that's what I love the most about him. Present tense.


     The other day, I sat next to him at a Chorale concert put on by the Arts College. He fell asleep within the first twenty minutes. No jittering legs, no whispers in my ear. Just silence from the seat next to mine. I looked over to see him curled up, arms crossed tight across his chest, wool coat still buttoned to the top. I wanted to wake him up, wanted to play back and forth in the dumb, annoying way that had become so normal. Instead, I watched the way his head nodded, hurt that he didn't even think to rest it on my shoulder. Things were different now. Got it.
     The non-touching, non-flirting clause that we'd penciled into our brains felt bizarre, but was a stipulation of the friendship we'd both agreed needed boundaries. Feelings were one-sided. Well, they were one-and-a-half sided, which was something I was uncomfortable with from the beginning. Then again, the thought of my own feelings developing had never been a threat that had even entered my mind until I made the stupid decision to be myself, you know. The one that forced me to be honest. I hate myself for that. I hate honesty. Sometimes, I just wish I could be like "Lie to me!" and then everything would turn out the way it should. But that's not exactly the way it works. And why would we want that in the first place? Do we want to be loved and adored because it holds weight in a series of mundane activity, or do we want it all because we care about the other person? Do we care about every aspect of the other side, whether they drive us to insanity? Or, do we only care about them when we have control over the way they lie in our arms? I've yet to find a solid answer for that one. Which probably explains why I am still writing this series. Ha! Series. That makes this whole thing sound like you all actually care. Maybe you do, maybe you don't.

Spoiler alert: I do. I still care.


  1. courtney, you write the most beautiful words.

  2. write to find your answers and I hope they find you. I don't mind reading at all.

  3. Um, I couldn't agree with this post more. Glad to know I'm not the only one with those questions. You are beautiful.


i like words. and you. write me a few?