It's grow-cer-ies and steep mountain trails with him. Introductions to new people usually go, "I talk loud and a lot--I'm Devin" which is as much absurd as it is true. He could watch professional bull riding all day, every day, and has a bizarre attachment to grape soda from a can. We're going to Yellowstone over the summer and I half-promised to hike a mountain with him because the other day, he took me along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and turned into this reflective, peaceful sort of creature who knew which trees were Junipers, and which trees were not. This newly revealed facet of him settles me, mutes my mind.
We're different in one too many ways. He's still not into Jackson Polluck-splashed canvas, and I'll never fall dead over a Black Keys album. I assume I'll find my niche kissing sticky jam hands around the time he disappears off into middle age and we won't have business one with another anymore. But, for now, we've decided to navigate the lonely years together until we figure out how to let go of the quiet fondness they carry.
One of my favorite memories of him, and I'll never forget it, was last January, at an art gala. I can't, for the life of me, recall the details of the dress I wore, but I do remember the way the words formed in his mouth when he took me by the fingertips and said, out loud, that I was ravishing.
We learn things in the lonely years. Mostly, we learn who the right ones aren't. We learn that the wrong ones will say the right things, and that the right things are the words we fight through the mess to hear. We beat the charade when we find the right one to say the right thing, but I don't know. I've yet to find the right one, so this is really just a shot in the dark.
What I do know is that we can't possibly understand the significance of the right thing until we've heard it said by the wrong one.