Friday, January 19, 2007

Sometimes, It Does Get Easier

I look at you from across the table and I wonder if this is how it's supposed to be.

I'm totally comfortable sitting here, in wrinkled pants and my winter coat- you know I can't take it off, I'm terrible with the cold. We sit, eat, talk over life's frustrations. We have the same thoughts, as usual. I get up to fill our glasses, I don't even have to ask if you want more, I know. When I take a too-big bite of pizza and have to wipe my mouth with a fist full of paper napkins, you just continue talking, as if nothing happened. As if I didn't just make a complete mess of myself, like a seven-year-old. We are honest now. A there's-something-stuck-in-your-teeth kind of honest. It feels good.

You get up to cross the room and for the first time in a long time, I turn to watch you. I see the same person, yet different. I see the person I admired before, but now softer, yet stronger. I see you are more human, more like me than my fantasies of years past allowed me to make you. I see some tiredness in your eyes, but that kindness I always knew is also there. As we talk, I feel like you listen to me now. Or maybe you always have, I just now have chosen to notice.

And I like you. You're my friend. You're good to me, you've never been anything less. I was the one who allowed my mind to wander, who couldn't stop it. I saw every similarity, every shared struggle as a sign. A sign of what, I don't know. I made things into something they weren't back then. It was long ago, really, but sometimes, when you hold the door for me or leave a certain kind of message on the phone, it seems like yesterday. I remember how it felt, to see you. I remember the anticipation, the mood, the butterflies. I suppose I always will, that's what crushes do to us. We always have that imprint, somewhere inside.

And now, today, as we sit here, close and comfortable (me, maybe you always have been) I am certain of almost nothing. Almost because now, I know the difference. I know that I can love you but in another way. I know that I do, and I know that you do. I know now, because you tell me, and I listen. I listen to what you really mean. I don't know what I was so in love with in the past. An idea, maybe. I do love now, though. I love the shared dinner, and the comfort I can find in the history of our time together. It's easy now, on my mind and my heart. I've come a long way, and you have, too. Years later, I'm thinking this, at least for this moment, is how it's supposed to be.


Anonymous said...

You've captured something beautiful and poignat here. Like a polaroid of a moment of realization.

justacoolcat said...


Sizzle said...

this is beautiful.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Wow, what a beautiful writing. So very sincere...and real.
Time... distance...perspective.
Really JR, this is beautiful, the way it is supposed to be.

Josh said...

That's a great feeling.

Bre said...

I think that it's really easy to fall in love with a sense of comfort and the ease of interaction. I know I have that with Matt, and there are certainly times when I think - is this it? But no... loving Matt as my best friend is a warmth, but there's no flare. That's what I'm looking for... something warms just the same as our friendship, but has the ability to spark that our friendship lacks. It's weird to get to that understanding, and even harder to explain it to folks!

lovely post :)