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The Seismic Pull of My Heart
There are certain events in every life that happen with stunning destiny. Lovers meeting, for instance—two strangers laughing over spilled drinks in a bar somewhere in rural Greece. A book with a forgotten twenty dollar bill tucked in its pages tumbling off the shelf and falling open at a patron’s feet. The initial eye contact between a boy and the child who will eventually become his best friend.
Falling in love with you.
I never stood a chance. There was always something there, wasn’t there? From the very first moment all the way to now, a duality, circling one another endlessly. I have loved you terribly, awfully, for so long. For far longer than you or I knew. Perhaps even always.
This is the story of that night. That Night. The night I realized. I’ll do my best to take you there, back to you, lightning, me, struck, but no words will ever be adequate.
The night I fall in with you I have no idea what is about to happen.
I have no idea of the long months to come, or how determinedly I will train myself to dismiss the glow you ignite in my stomach, or all the times I will type I love you into the bright emptiness of an email message box, only to punch backspace with a bitter sense of failure, or how I will sit in darkness on another night, a night currently in the unfathomable future, thinking that you don’t love me back and never will, aching like the Earth must have ached when its surface split into pieces, fissure-hearted and dazed.
I am in the path of a swiftly approaching avalanche, but I have no idea of any of this.
The night I fall in love with you I am young and the stars are out and you are at the door. The night I fall in love with you my heart is beating like a wild deer’s and you are in front of me. Leaning against the door frame. Smiling a little.
Oh, if hearts could speak. If they had mouths of their own, if they could voice the truths boiling within us. If they could say this is what I want. If hearts could stand up and say I love you so much it feels as if I am dying then that is what mine would have said, unstoppably. Because if my heart had had the ability to roar just then, it would have declared its infinite adoration for you and demanded the same in return. It would have said I’m keeping a place inside me warm for you, I promise you. The lamp is lit, the door unlocked. I am ready for your entrance, dear, and I always will be.
But this is not a story about declarations, because the night this happens I am young and shocked and burning, and my heart has not learned how to speak.
It goes like this.
You are at the door and I am falling in love with you.
No, that’s wrong. I’m clearly already in love with you and must have been for a while, but it’s finally falling together. The pieces of you are settling into my psyche like mosaic fragments of the most of extraordinary sort. You’re saying something, probably hello, but I’m not hearing you. All I’m thinking of is you and your eyes and your way of treating me as if I am someone more deserving than I really am, you and you and you and you. Your hands and your laughter and your beauty, tendons and muscle, bones and ligaments, veins and blood, blood running under your skin and mine.
There are other people there, but they don’t matter. Just you. I want to melt in your arms, your hands, your voice. I want to be rebuilt and reborn, transformed into something proud and lovely, something that is you and I together. I know then that I am damned, utterly, that I would carry you to the ends of the earth.
That just standing beside you is heaven.
Behind you the night sky is sweeping coal, but there’s so much brilliance radiating from you that there is no place to hide, no place to bury my breathlessness. I cannot escape your light. The night is cool as ice, but you are warm and my heart is leaping out of my chest, jumping toward you like a worshipful beast, red and rough and bursting.
One day it will reach its destination, but not yet. It’s the moment I fall in love with you. It’s now, and the night is deep and soft.
You and I are together, and between us there’s a shivering bond nothing can ever extinguish, not even the end of the universe. Because even if we weren’t together we would still be thinking the same thoughts, sharing the same observations, arcing in the same trajectory. The sheer certainty of this makes my head spin. It is in this instant that I know if hearts could shout, mine would say us and always.
I’d like to tell my heart about the future. Whisper things like she’ll love you too and it’s going to happen and when it does it will be so electrifying that the wait will be worth it; when it does it will release parts of you no one knew existed and you will not feel like a criminal anymore for wanting her and when it does it will be miraculous.
But it doesn’t know about the wait or the want or the worry, or the day it is finally brave enough to sing its love, putting us together, finally, as we must be.
All it knows is tonight.