On the last day of my holiday I am invited out on a date and for the first time in a long time I agree without hesitation or fear. I don’t think too much or put much into it. I get showered, dressed and put one foot afront the other and meet him at the top of carrer de Valencia.
He stands smiling which makes me smile. We’ve been looking for each other for days and here we are, together at last. He’s been told to take me somewhere ‘nice’ so I walk him to the seafront, to one of my favourite spots. Everything is fine, everything is going well until he turns to me and says ‘tell me about your life, tell me everything’. Before this moment I had been thinking how easy our conversation had been going, how normal I felt around him and how he reminded me of myself. Until that moment I hadn’t thought of myself as particularly strange or awkward or anxious or … like my usual depressing hard-to-be self.
I sit there caught between telling him and running away. I look at his chest, avoiding his gaze, down at the grey ribbed cotton vest and start to count the lines. Then, maybe the server comes over and offers us menus, maybe she brings over our drinks, anyway, it’s something that causes me to look up and look him in the eye. His eyes are an astonishing blue. I’ve seen them before but right here, right now with an aquamarine backdrop, somewhere between the sea, the sky and stretch of the horizon, he sits looking at me with the most open expression on his happy face, a trusting, caring look that reassures me and I know that it’s alright, I can tell him anything and I’m going to be ok.
So I start in 1999 and instead of the usual tale of woe, I’m recounting a stronger more positive history, one where I worked hard and got rewards. Yeah I got sick, yeah I had several surgeries but look at me now – I’ve just been accepted on my Masters course, I’m loving life! He reaches over and touches my hand, electricity passes through me. “Thank you for telling me”
I am not quite sure what I’d said, it flowed out of my mouth, unedited, uncensored. Years of emotion, thoughts and feelings – my fem feelings! all rushing out of me towards this beautiful stranger.
That day I see myself from the other side of the glass. Words come together, thoughts are things, my struggle turns triumphantly, through the ribbon; I win. That day I take a step forward, turn a corner, jump a wall. I leave it all behind me as the great Dam of emotion burst forth, pain seeps out and leaves me and I am left naked, open, thruthful.
I can’t stop talking. He’s family, he’s kin. For the first time in forever I want to tell someone everything.
The next morning I write a poem, a story, the meeting verbatim. I write and write and write. I tell everyone who will listen. “You’ve changed” they all say “something’s happened to you” but I’ve been waiting all my life and now I know I was waiting for you