So I recently moved and just rediscovered some old notebooks and journals that are near and dear to my heart. One in particular was the journal I wrote in as I was coming out to myself and then falling in love with my now-fiancée. That time period was quite prolific for me for some reason; I guess writing down my thoughts helped me process all the changes that were occurring in my life.
So without further ado, I present: the night I fell in love.
There’s one particular entry that I love more than maybe anything else I’ve ever written; not because it is particularly strong stylistically, but because of the memory it documents. I wrote this the night my partner and I, who were just friends and/or crushes before that evening, kissed for the first time.
This was so early in my coming-out process that I wasn’t even comfortable saying that I was gay even in my personal journal. I was terrified that one of my roommates would find it; at that time, the idea of any one of my friends knowing I was gay seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen. So to prevent this, I wrote all of my journal entries in gender-neutral language; often, as in this particular post, I wrote to my partner, so that I could use “you” instead of “she” and no one would have to know the gender of the person I was writing about. Looking back, it seems incredible that there was ever a time I was that afraid. I’m so grateful for my current freedom.
So without further ado, I present: the night I fell in love.
Last night you kissed me.
I picked you up from work, pizza box in hand. You must be starving by the time you get out of there. I sat in the car, waiting and waiting to see your blonde hair and familiar gait come around the corner. You are my favorite part of the day.
When you finally came into view, my stomach was doing flip-flops. You smiled at me and said, “Hey dude” as you climbed in the car and I knew everything was alright.
We got back to my house and each had a Corona while we watched Fresh Prince of Bel Air with my housemates. At this point I still had no idea that anything would happen. It seemed like any other night; you were eating the pizza I got you, we were laughing and sharing the evening.
When we finished our beers, you asked if I wanted to come hang out at your place. Yes, yes I did.
When we got to your house, your roommates were sitting on the couch watching TV. Sammie greeted me at the door with her big dog grin and “the wiggles,” as you call it. We sat down on the couch and had another beer. Because of the way people were sitting, we had to sit on two separate couches. It was fine, though; normal, even. Still I had no expectations that tonight would be different then any other. After channel-surfing through bad TV, we settled on the last few scenes of August Rush.
When we finished our beers, you asked if I wanted to
come hang out at your place. Yes, yes I did.
Sometime during the movie, my phone vibrated. It was sitting behind me on the couch, and when I reached back and saw your name on the screen, I beamed. I wonder if you saw.
“Do you like climbing buildings? Slash would you want to go climb one? It’s not too complicated, just one part where you have to lift yourself up a bit…”
I said “yes” of course, but even in this moment, everything was still going the way it usually did. We had been doing everything together, so you asking me to climb a building seemed like nothing out of the ordinary.
But your next text changed the game. We both had had two beers now and were feeling more open. You were peppering your comments with slang, as much because of the alcohol as an attempt to keep things light.
“You’re adorbs, not gonna lie,” you sent me. I smiled. I wasn’t sure how to respond. Thank you? So are you? Both sounded lame. Before I knew it, minutes had passed.
“No comment? Sheesh!”
Then I knew it was okay to tell you how I felt. You had opened the door with your first text, and now you were reaching your hand back to pull me through. I had to keep the tone light though still – you weren’t allowed to see how excited I was. “haha sorry, you are so adorbs but you already know that,” I typed.
I watched your face when you read my response. You smiled; I melted.
“Hardly,” you answered.
“Well you should,” I countered.
A few minutes went by. August Rush was still on, and I was ready to get going. “Wanna climb a building?” I asked. You said you wanted to “finish this.” I wasn’t sure if you meant your beer or the movie, but either way, I was antsy. You liked me and I liked you and I just wanted to go somewhere and be with you.
Finally, you texted me that you were ready. I met you at the door; you had put on a sweatshirt and black and white scarf, along with your black floppy beanie. You looked beautiful.
We left the house and started walking. I barely remember this part of the evening; I was just so happy and excited to be with you.
You liked me and I liked you
and I just wanted to go somewhere
and be with you.
We stopped at the steps of a house – it was some university department building. We climbed the steps and wound our way through some bushes and trees. Finally, we came to a rooftop that was right on our level because of the hill. Scrambling up onto the first roof line, we began our ascent. One spot was a little too high for me, and you gave me a boost with your hands. After climbing a few levels, we finally reached the top of the roof, where a small turret bordered by a short white fence provided a breathtaking view of the city. The capitol building was lit with pink lights – for breast cancer month, you told me.
We sat down close to one another, our shoulders and knees touching. We talked easily for a few minutes, and then fell silent.
You ran your fingers up the side of my calf. I inhaled. You wrapped your hand around my ankle and gently massaged my leg. I couldn’t breathe. We sat like this, your fingers tracing the muscles of my calf. I wanted to reach out to you but my heart was pounding and I didn’t know what to do.
At last, you spoke. “Do you mind if I put my arm around you?”
Did I mind? I wanted nothing more.
“Can I have this hand?” you asked, reaching for my right fingertips.
“Of course,” I answered. You were so calm. I could hardly move.
We sat side by side, your hand caressing my shoulder, silently looking out on the city lights. After a few minutes, you laid down on your back looking up at the sky, and I curled next to you with my arm across your stomach. You kissed my forehead and a sudden heat coursed through my body. I tucked my head into the soft space between your shoulder and breast.
I looked up into your eyes – those blue, expressive, bottomless eyes – and you whispered, “You’re beautiful.” I exhaled for the first time in minutes.
Snuggling in closer, I kissed your shoulder. We lay there, side by side, silent yet comfortable. Every once in a while, our eyes would meet and you would whisper, “Hi.”
Finally, I propped myself up on my elbows and looked at you – I’m sure my adoration was all over my face. I followed the line of your nose across to your perfect cheeks and down to your quietly smiling lips. With my eyes I asked you to kiss me. You spoke.
“I really want to kiss you.”
“I want to kiss you too.”
It was just you and me
on a rooftop, floating among stars
and church steeples.
We reached, our lips parted and then touched. I will never forget how softly you kissed me, your lips melting into mine.
We built passion slowly. There was no need to rush. It was just you and me on a rooftop, floating among stars and church steeples.
When we stopped kissing, we just laid there, running fingers along arms, shoulders, waists. There was a tiny spot by your hip where your shirt had risen and the silky skin peeked through; I enjoyed this discovery.
Then we were kissing again, your hands running down my back while I played with the hair spilling out of your hat onto your neck. When we stopped, I rolled over so that you were spooning me. I pulled your hand tightly around me, wrapping myself with you. It had started to drizzle, and I was shivering. You weren’t cold, but you knew I was, and you kept asking me if I wanted to go.
My answer was always no.
- Poem for a Monday Morning: e. e. cummings
- Kicking Ass and Taking [Last] Names
- Femme on a Mission Vlog: How I came out to my mother via miss-sent text