The first thing I did today was to check on my phone and see if you left me a message. I found none. There’s a slight surge of tenderness but it didn’t matter. A smile curled on my lips as I tugged my pillow from beneath my neck. Truth is, it’s become so clear since you walked in that door. I have never loved a man before.
And so I went back to sleep to make the hours shorter and the waiting more bearable. In my deep sleep, I had a dream and you were in it. We were giddily frolicking on a white sand laden beach when a dinosaur came out and bit off one of your arms. Everyone we passed was trying to offer you their arm, but I really wanted you to have mine. And you chose my arm and it made me so happy. My egomaniacal self was shaken to the core. And then I realized I have never loved a man before.
On my way to the bus stop, I received a text from someone. He was offering me all the love in the world and more. I wondered, how is it that the man who is standing right in front of me, the one that is very accessible and open, him, I push away. I run from him. In the meantime, you, the one man who can probably never even meet me in the middle, you, I would like to give my whole heart to? I gathered up my thoughts from the floor. I thought, “Damn, I have never loved a man before.”
On the bus, I was overcome by thoughts of you. Thoughts of unrequited love and romantic martyrdom. They made me giggle. I said to myself, “Aren’t these the musings of someone on the verge of suicide?” But just the mere thought of seeing you again gives me life. You may or may not care. All bets are off. You may not feel the same way but it doesn’t matter anymore. Because I have never loved a man before.
I entered the room and you weren’t there. Still I had to put on my usual show. Make them laugh and shut the fuck up when they’re done with me. I’m inner-looking; I get easily drained. But don’t worry I saved my energy for you. Tonight, we’re having dinner together. Just the two of us. The first in a million years. I won’t miss it for the world. It’s not because I subsist on the existence of you. I don’t need you to live. I have love. My heart is overflowing with it and the only need I have is to share it with everyone. You, especially. And reviewing my romantic lore, this is unprecedented. I have never loved a man before.
Off we go into the heart of the concrete jungle. You and I enthusiastically rummaged through holiday embellishment stalls like we’re newly wed couples looking forward to decorating their shared home for Christmas. It was one of my happiest days. Then, little by little, you started opening up your heart to me, telling me stories of when you were young, your family and your vulnerabilities. That’s the best gift you’ve ever given me. For the first time since we met, I’m looking in your heart. Right at that moment, it felt like I couldn’t ask for more. I have never loved a man before.
It was our first bus ride together. You said you rarely rode it and I sensed that maybe you just wanted to spend more time with me. And you know what, I did, too. I never would have wanted for the night to end. And when you rested your head on my shoulder, you could definitely hear my heart skip a beat. Amidst the cars and the traffic gore, I was hit by a thought, “Has he ever loved a man before?”
When Katy Perry wrote “Hot N Cold” she must be talking about you. How is it that one day you’re warm, the next, you’re cold as ice? I shrugged my shoulders and told myself, “Love is not an addiction. Love is a willful desire to love somebody in spite of their weaknesses. Love is not only a temporary feeling. Love stays no matter how much you try to forget.” Instead of fighting off the feeling, let it flow naturally in you and from you. Love liberally.
Today, I realized I have never loved a man before. Not once or twice. I have never love a man before because I wasn’t whole before. I was needy and dependent. But today, I’m a new and an entire person. I am complete. I am finally capable of love.
Before I met you, I have never loved another man. But you opened my eyes and made me see that love is a force that comes from within. And so today, while looking in a mirror, it all became so clear: I love a man. Deeply. And for real.