We’d been wandering the same streets for years, but they didn’t intersect until the right place and time.
My street wandering had led me to distant lands and wrong places. I grew in all the possible ways, for better and for worse.
His street wandering had led him to distant thoughts and internal spaces. He grew in all the possible ways, for better and for worse.
“So, this Kyle guy. I think he’s meant for you.”
“Ha. Why’s that?”
“Well, I took a car ride with him. He wants to be an English teacher. I thought, ‘Karen.’ He loves sustainability. I though, ‘Karen.’ He wants to start a group for secondhand clothes. I thought, ‘Karen.’ You two should meet.”
“I’ll give it a shot. When?”
“I’m having a party next Thursday. You should come and I’ll invite him.”
“Hi! My name’s Karen.”
“Hi. I’m Kyle.”
He had the goofiest, excessively long hemp necklace on that I had ever seen.
“What’s your favorite book.”
“I don’t know.”
“Oh, come on… what’s one of your favorite books?”
“On the Road,” it couldn’t have been a more perfect answer.
“Really? I just finished a paper comparing The Dharma Bums with Walden.”
“Hey. Since I’ve started a group before, I figured maybe you could use some help in starting yours.”
He played banjo and spoke of Southern Comfort.
“Where are you headed?”
“The record sale.”
(One of the only habits he has kept throughout the past year.)
“That’s not a real hug.”
“What if we just stopped using the word is? Like, ‘It may be snowing outside.'”
We walked through a blizzard. I wore a secondhand snowsuit he had gifted me.
We swang on swings.
He drew a heart in the snow with my name in it. I drew his name.
We had a snowball fight.
He fell on his ass.
He thought about staying at my place.
It was 5:00 AM.
He drove home.
I missed him… and I knew.
He stayed soon after.
“Karen, I think I’m falling in love with you.”
“I’m falling, too.”
And now, one year since, I look back over a year that I just don’t know how I would’ve lived if it weren’t for him.
There have been long car rides, long talks, and long dances.
There have been pancakes, granola, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
There have been books, records, and drunken songs.
There have been smiles, tears, and sometimes both at once.
There have been camp fires, camping breakfasts, and camping stories.
There have been back rubs, foot rubs, and, well, other kinds of rubs.
There have been poems, stories, papers, and thoughts upon thoughts.
There have been truths, dares, and fears.
There has been mishap hitchhiking, mishap teaching, and mishap fainting.
There has been lovemaking, rage shaking, and lots and lots of missing.
There has been presence, presents, and make-believe futures.
There have been days, weeks, months, and years to be had.
And there has always been you and me.
And there always will be.
Because we make each other's lives AWESOME