I’m sorry it’s been so long since I saw you.
I’ve just been so blinded by my lust for the Next Big Thing, you know?
She’s a shape-shifting seductress. She can go from next month’s vacation to Friday’s theater tickets to tonight’s dinner, all without batting an eyelid. All the while I’m counting down the weeks, days, hours, until she’s supposedly in my arms.
But time and time again, I reach her and she reveals herself to be nothing more than a mirage.
She can’t actually quench my thirst for something exciting. She can only fly off to the horizon to glimmer in the sun, and offer me a journey to break up the supposed monotony of my days.
It’s taken me years to realize that in trying to catch her, I’ve been running a fool’s race, turning all the moments that stood between us into hurdles for me to clear. Essentially, I’ve been wishing my life away.
But you. I see you now. You’ve been here all along. Despite being so often overlooked and taken for granted, you’re still here, entirely forgiving.
You, all the moments between moments, the minutiae of my day.
You’re here to greet me when I wake, after I’ve hit the snooze button, but before my mental to-do list beeps. You’re here as I lie on my side, body curled like a comma, movements paused, so I can catch a last glimpse of my dissolving dream as it floats past closed eyelids.
You’re here after I rise—but before I’ve left the apartment, as I move through this familiar dance—the morning kitchen routine. Tap dance around the hungry kitten at my heels. Pour water into the kettle so the orchestra can warm up with a slow boil. Ding the triangle by sliding open the silverware drawer. Bring the sugar spoon out to wink in the light. Hit the one drum as mug meets table. Leap to the kettle as it whistles, “Yoohoo, come and get me!” Quick-ball-change of water in a mug, instant coffee sprinkled in, and here you are—in the dark swirl of the lover’s tango as two become one.
And again, after the front door closes, but before I’ve stepped onto the subway, you’re here in this brisk walk through my neighborhood.
It’s still winter, yet the world’s springing up around me. The sidewalk rises to meet my feet, the breeze flies forward to kiss my cheeks, and it is abundantly clear that I am surrounded by sweetness.
“Look, look,” you whisper in my ear, as if we’re lovers on a sight-seeing trip, and you can’t help but point out all the people peopling all over the place—walking dogs and pushing strollers, sipping lattes and biting bagels. Laughing and sighing, and in every moment living and dying.
From behind the rose-colored glasses you’ve given me, I can see that it’s all a grand, impossible, improvised play. I’m in it and yet tempted to give it all a standing ovation.
I want to applaud all these tiny moments of anticipation. The held breath of waiting rooms. The buzz of conversation while waiting in line at a coffee shop. The jitterbug dance of standing outside a locked bathroom, smiling at those who pass while thinking I can’t hold it any longer!
Bursting, barely able to contain the bursting, in that moment before longed-for lips meet mine, but after that look has been shared, when we’re leaning like two starry-eyed galaxies, slow-spinning toward the other. And then the stillness, the silence, before the big bang.
Here you are. Gently reminding me to inhale. Pause. Hold it. Hold it. Aware of every atom alive in this unique moment and then exhale. The sweet release, made that much sweeter due to the awareness that when I’ve nothing left to give, the inhale will be ready to again rush forward and swoon into my lungs.
All this is to say that I love you, madly, deeply, wildly.
I want to thank you for stringing all these moments together like little fairy lights that light up my life.
Because really, all these moments are my life—tiny and precious and entirely worth wishing for.
Author: Lexi Tess
Editor: Lieselle Davidson