For many years, I did not go looking for him.
I sat on my hands. I did not take pictures, or sketch trees or write poems. I let it go, the driving urge to be seen. To command. To insist on my own fierce existence.
I felt him in this world with me but I thought he would be better off. Would find love in the arms of some other more deserving girl. Would claim a new home, a new life.
I did not see. Not for years.
Without me next to him, no one was next to him. Without me to be his witness, no one stepped forward. No one had my eyes to see. The women who loved him in my place, they could not hold him. They could not make him less alone.
I want someone who will love me in any clothes I choose to wear, I said. I want someone who will know that our bodies are only clothes we wear.
I loved him because it was him. I thought he was hot and hottest and what do I care what hotness is or looks like, anyway? America has spent 30 years teaching me to love men who look like monsters and teaching me he is not hot because he is not a monster. America tried to teach me to desire to be consumed instead of to desire to be loved. It didn’t take.
I am writing the shades of the inside of my desire. All the days of my life, they rushed right through me and I waited and waited to die. He was a vision of a crystal fountain. He is the place where hunger becomes holy. I wanted to curl up next to him to learn how to be someone who is not afraid of how beautiful the music is.
America also taught me to be afraid of what I might do to him. That I might drag him down into my world of homeless raped abused forgotten little girls shaped like young women. My body is the graveyard of my dreams, why would he want to see that?
It is not true that I had nothing to give him. It is only that I did not know that I did.
We learn. Even me. Maybe too late, but I learned.
Sexuality is a weaving. Sexuality is a dream. He is a dream and I was the dreamer.
I don’t believe in words that are useless. I am many things but I am compulsively honest and a liar I am not. I am a closet romantic says my professor but he is incorrect. Only I know life is worthless without love. I am practical enough to admit the obvious.
I was jealous. I was self-effacing. I submitted to fate but fate is scripted and I reject the right of anyone mortal to script my destiny. Loving him was mine from the very beginning of my life. There are things I don’t know how to prove but that does not make them lies.
My body is repairing what ought not be reparable because I might one day get to love him out loud. Healing is a minor miracle. Love is a miracle, and not minor.