Today is May 6, 2013. At this moment one year ago, I laid in a hotel bed next to you, the two of us fast asleep and more comfortable than we could have hoped to feel with one another. Months spent trying to make a relationship work from a thousand miles away. Pennsylvania to Florida. Philly to Tampa. One twitter account to another.
Think about that.
In one year’s time, I’ve gone from a visit ahead of two months of anticipation to humbling myself thinking about this while I work an overnight shift at a retirement community I would have never even heard of had I not decided one night that I had to buy a plane ticket to meet you in person.
We spent months after that texting all night. All day, even. The vast majority of our relationship was spent with an iPhone in each of our hands somewhere in our parent’s houses while we wished we could just be in the same room as one another.
That was so damn hard. This is so damn easy.
Now, one year after I walked down that airport terminal and saw you sitting there waiting for me, curled up and nervous on a chair, I can write this while you sleep comfortably in our apartment, our annoying cats likely running amok in the living room as you slumber.
All because one day, you followed me on twitter.
Almost six months ago, I made the biggest move of my life. I traveled a thousand miles from the place I had called home for the previous twelve years and found somewhere new to call home. I met the most wonderful person I’ve ever met and have loved every moment I’ve spent with her. I made this move with the support of plenty of people, but one person in particular, as he always does, flashes across my mind when I close my eyes and remember my life less than half a year ago: my dad.
He always supported me. He always loved me. He always made me know that I could do anything I wanted and that he’d be proud of me and he’d wish me nothing but the best. Losing him was something I can’t begin to describe because the complexity of it all to this day is too much to grasp, despite having written about it multiple times before. But I thought about him and I thought about signs. I thought about the kinds of things I’d never put much belief in and I stepped outside of myself and observed. I went back to when I was a kid and he got me the first two Harry Potter books. I was hooked. He was hooked. Even after he and my mom split up and he ended up in the other corner of the country, we could bond over those books. We could see every movie together because we made it happen. When I left the humidity and swampiness of Florida for the cold of Pennsylvania, I saw things that were new. I saw trees that lost their leaves. I saw potholes galore from years of abuse at the hands of salt trucks every winter. And I saw deer.
I’ve never believed in signs or in guardians. But seeing so many deer meant more to me than moving from somewhere where these animals were scarce to the factories they breed in.
When you want to find meaning in something, you do.
I thought back to Harry and his dad. How when Harry needed to be picked up, his dad appeared in the form of something so subtly beautiful that I could be experiencing the same thing a fictional kid wizard was. I wasn’t seeing hordes of these animals darting across roads into brush because I live in Deer City, USA. I had conjured my own patronus and it was appearing to let me know I’d be okay.
This is for you. My patronus, my protector. I love you.
akam1n asked: 49ers.
Anonymous asked: I'm pretty much in love with you. I'm glad you're happy with your girlfriend though.
Well thanks, anonymous person! Sorry I never saw this until now :(
I rolled over last night as I watched the Niners’ comeback ultimately fall short. I sobbed a bit, trying to expel any tears I could. But I couldn’t; I had nothing left.
What seemed like hours earlier, power was lost at the stadium and I had over a half an hour to squeeze my eyes shut and attempt to sort out my thoughts. I could only picture my dad’s face, my dad watching the Niners once on TV when I was little, remembering how when he’d come home from business trips, I’d run to the door and grab him around the waist and he’d rub my head and ask “How’s my boy?”
Today is the day after the Super Bowl, and it marks five months since I lost him. I’m a Niner fan for very sentimental reasons; seeing him watch them on TV a few times is why my eight year old self fell in love with the team. It’s been a struggle, in many obvious ways, since he passed. On the most apparent of levels, my dad is no longer with me and I can’t see him whenever I want to see him, or call him if I want to talk to him. But more than that, being the person I am, one who doesn’t believe in god or fate or larger forces controlling smaller, meaningless things like my existence or the success of my favorite football team, it’s hard for me to reconcile the feeling I’ve had the last few months.
The reality is that my dad was never a Niner fan—he watched them on occasion because he did like them, and he liked a few of their players. But I didn’t know that as a kid, I just wanted to be like him. That was okay, too, because even though he wasn’t the sports fan that I’ve always been, he always followed just closely enough for my sake. Because he knew it was something I loved and he took pride in sharing that with me if he could. So when I lost him, and football became meaningless for a little while before becoming something I could again love watching without feeling guilty about, I had this feeling. I had this feeling that the Niners would win it all, either for him or with the help of him. So when half of the Superdome lost power and all I could think about was him, I just wanted to talk to him. Just wanted to ask him to give it everything he had. And it nearly “worked.”
I’ve avoided this subject for a couple of reasons, one being what I mentioned earlier about not believing in god or other supernatural forces. The other was that I felt so selfish to think that other football fans didn’t lose someone close to them recently too, that there weren’t millions of other fans of my very team that had their own sentimental reasons for wanting to win as badly as I did.
And with that, I’ve concluded something else I’ve always struggled with: the idea that someone who doesn’t also love sports will never understand why fans take it so hard when their team loses. Everyone wants some kind of meaning from life. From my often cynical, negative point of view, I can see where those who wear their lucky jerseys do exactly the same thing. We want to cheer for something, but beyond that, we want to know that we’re taking a part in it, too. We want to feel that, even if we don’t believe in anything else, our superstitions do help the team win because on some level, we do believe in something cosmic. We’ll wax philosophically about how god doesn’t exist and how faith is silly, but we’ll do it in a dirty t shirt from the same spot on the couch, begging the universe to reward our existence. And I am so okay with that.
The last thing a fan wants to hear when their team loses is “it’s only a game.” Sometimes it isn’t.
It hurts to swallow. My head is sore and my back is throbbing.
Some of that is from crying. Some of that is from dealing with feeling completely frazzled in an attempt to sort things out and get back in gear.
You. I love you like I’ve never loved another person. I knew this day would come, or at least I had to know it would, but it’s here and it’s not easy to deal with. I thought I was connected to you before. Now? I really don’t feel anything could come between us. And that makes it a little easier to breathe. I told you time would pick back up now, we’d go back to our lives apart from each other and we’d get our shit in gear to be together again soon and as true as I know that is, I’m sitting in bed wishing it were tomorrow. Wishing it were Wednesday. Wishing it were Friday. Wishing it were the middle of September.
But you know what? I’m grateful it’s gotta be this way. It was a lot easier to tell you I love you when we had to walk the other way in the airport this time, but it was a lot harder to turn around. But I’ll take that. I’ll take that because if I didn’t feel ready to collapse, ready look at my swollen eyes and hastily wipe them one more time before feebly crawling back into bed, the reward wouldn’t be so sweet. If we couldn’t enjoy what comes next, I’d rather just not be happy at all.
So let’s make a deal. We said the next time we sent the other one off in the airport, it’d only be for a week or so. You said two weeks was too long. Let’s say ten days, but the first and last day have to be late afternoon and early morning flights, respectively. Still too long? Okay. Nine days, late flight out, early flight back, and we eat our body weight in tacos or burritos when we pick the other one up from the airport? I think that sounds fair.
I’m feeling so in love right now.
jsantanaaaa asked: dude i love my bird, he's so freakin awesomeeee. Glad you enjoyed it too!
What kind of bird is he? Does he talk?
(Source: mad-buddha-abuser, via tea-tobacco)
It’s been four years since I became a robot. Since my best friend called me “Iron Man” because I had two rods inserted into my legs when I broke them. The rods are titanium, but nicknames are supposed to be fun.
It was raining. It was Father’s Day and I had just gotten off of work. I went home and ran inside to grab my dad’s gift and my sister and rushed out.
“Be careful, it’s raining,” said my mom.
I told her I’d be fine and blew her warning off. Like I always did. Like I still do.
We had to stop to get a card for him. When you’re nineteen and eighteen, you don’t think about getting cards for your parents because at that age, cards are for money, and we weren’t giving my dad money. The rain had died down. Then the skies opened up again, inundating everything for a few minutes before abruptly stopping. Summer rains are weird in Florida. The cars in front of me slowed down, driving cautiously. I’d never understood why they insisted on changing their driving style just for the sake of some water on the road. I’d always driven in the rain like I did in the sun. I had to slow down, though, because the line of traffic in front of me was weaving through the turns slowly, safely.
I should have been more careful. I should have realized I’d only had this car for six days and hadn’t driven it in the rain and that it did matter when the weather changed. The only thing this car didn’t have for me was a means to listen to my iPod. I had to listen to the radio, and the only station I didn’t hate was a classic rock station. Heart’s Magic Man was playing. Around one turn I went. The song moved into its bridge. Around the next turn I coasted. Guitar solo. Bass drum, snare drum, bass drum, snare drum, cymbal, CRASH.
Everything was hot. My head hurt. It smelled like rain. Some guy was leaning in my car, now facing the other direction on the other side of the road, asking me if I was okay. He told me not to move, said my legs were broken. I had no idea what he was talking about. I looked to my right and saw my little sister, a bloody mess, shaking in the passenger seat next to me. If I wasn’t disoriented I would have cried my eyes out. I turned back. Two paramedics were there. They opened my door said something about this being the painful part and just as I nearly lost my head as my body slumped forward, they lifted me up and reminded me I was still alive.
The pain writhing throughout my legs was nothing compared to what I felt inside. As the medic carried me out of the car, I caught a glimpse of my dad and my stepmom standing ten feet away. I howled out in pain, screaming myself hoarse, more terrified of how much I had to be scaring them than what had happened to me. I don’t know what it was—guilt isn’t the right word. But I felt awful for putting them through this, for having to watch me get carried away while I shrieked and cried out and disappeared into the back of an ambulance.
We spent a week in the hospital. We were children again; our parents took turns sleeping on a cot between us to make sure we were okay. I was a baby again. I couldn’t walk, had no use for a toilet, and cried every time I saw my sister. Every time I saw the dried blood on her forehead. Every time I saw her eyes were swollen shut. Every time I saw her wrist in that purple cast. Every time my parents told me it wasn’t my fault, that I should have been glad we were both okay, I didn’t feel okay. I couldn’t feel okay.
It took me years to feel okay. It took me two months to walk again. It took me three years to stop crying every June 15.
I’ll never stop hearing “Be careful, it’s raining.”