The evening of February 22, 2003, my brother's 21st birthday party, was a drink-filled celebratory night in Boston. I knew only a handful of the people at the party, and I certainly had never met that hot tall slender brunette standing near the bar with the champagne in hand. I had to talk to her. That apparently was one of the rare periods in my life wherein I'd walk up to cute girls and introduce myself.
She was smart, funny, and from UPSTATE NEW YORK. We talked a bit then cut a rug (to Iio's Rapture, I believe). She made an early exit and I went in for a smooch. DENIED!
I returned to LA a few days later and went back to life-as-usual. Except I couldn't stop thinking about her. It was crazy, she was a girl (of 20 years!) of whom I knew very little and lived three-thousand miles away. But there she was, in my head.
Life is an infinite series of moments, almost all of which instantly vanish. But there are those moments separate from all others, when you meet Her. You're never in your comfort zone. Something is always slightly off, like a dream but bright with lucidity. And there She is. And for days and years you look back at that moment, that girl you once met. And it drives your inner artist mad with romance. It's not just her lovely face, it's not just the connection you had. It's the fact that the universe still allows the wall of somnambulant reality to fracture and let slip through a burst of the Devine. You keep that with you, a little bit of magic, a little bit of cosmic momentum. Then you continue with your ritual sleepwalk until it's over.
March 13, 2003, nine years ago, I could no longer let that moment just be. She was a real person and I was willing to jeopardize the moment in order to talk to her again. I emailed from work that morning, not sure if she remembered me. Not sure if I'd be written off as some e-stalker. Or wind up in the junk mail folder with the Nigerian bank account scams and the Replica watches.
She responded promptly, ending her email with "It was great to hear from you-- write back soon!"
So I did, immediately, like a good possessive obsessive. And then she replied again.
Within seven days she was quoting e.e. Cummings and I was quoting John Lee Hooker. By Day 9 we were discussing God.
Our first phone call was to happen on Day 11. As I held gauze to a bleeding infected to-the-bone hiking leg wound, I called her from my car at the agreed upon time. She told me to hang up the phone and go to the emergency room. A reasonable suggestion.
We have completed nine full years together. There have been a multitude of homes, states, coasts, and countries. We have been around death and we have seen new lives. She's the most fascinating person I have ever met and she's more "lovely and fun" than I'd told her she was on 3/13/03. She's probably added years onto my life.
So, what did I give Kristen for our ninth anniversary? Bronchitis.
I'll work on something better for #10.