Right now, you're asleep in my bed and I'm sitting on my balcony at 4:51AM on Sunday, July 2, 2017.
Yesterday felt like the hottest day of the year, thus far. But at this moment, the breeze making its way across the Lower Garden District could fool any local into believing it’s a typical September dawn in New Orleans.
I’ve been awake for hours — restlessly shifting from one position to another and renegotiating the symmetries of our bodies. In my arms, I watched you dose off, and then eventually lapse into a natural pattern of calm and steady breathing. I willed myself to sleep shortly thereafter so I could join you, wherever you went. So I can find you and continue our conversation, in some other state of consciousness.
A few days ago, you asked me what it was like to be in love. “It’s excruciating,” I said. “It’s nagging anxiety that you’re going to fuck something up. It distracts you from getting work done and from keeping up with your day-to-day routine. It’s being terrified that someone is going to notice your imperfections and then hate you for being imperfect. In your head, you turn over impossible scenarios, over and over again. You lose sleep over it. You reprioritize your life for it. And none of it makes any sense."
"But,” I said. “You endure it anyway because it’s worth it.”
It took me 29 years to write my own definition of "what it’s like to be in love.”
But today, I changed my mind.
Today, staring at you on the rooftop of The Ponchartrain Hotel, my clunky, acidic definition of love came undone.
Ask me a second time.
If you did, I’d tell that being in love is wonderful. It’s like being happy all the time. It’s like seeing the best in someone when you’re not even looking. It’s admiring the pores across your face because they’re your pores. It's the need to be a kinder, more thoughtful person.
What’s it like to be in love? It’s fun as shit. It’s being excited about tomorrow instead of worrying if someone is going to answer your texts. It’s wanting to be a part of the family without having met anyone. It's being with you and looking forward to the next time I see you.
When I go back inside the apartment, I’m going to slam the balcony door a little harder than usual.
Hopefully, the sound will wake you up.
Then, I can quietly reenter my bedroom and find you shaking off slumber.
And we can talk.
I can’t wait to talk to you.