oh, the places we have been
2015: the year in places, and things, but mostly certain people.
People don't talk enough about wondering around a city that you haven't been to in years. I do that a lot here, I make myself busy when I am not trying to coordinate outfits with Alec on the phone. The thing I have always enjoyed about Montreal is how it feels like a strange hinterland all of its own, and our time there this year doesn't do anything to change that. As a personal trait I spend more time than I should wondering, evaluating, trying to make sense of facts, like I don't trust them. It might well be true that I cannot trust something I could not predict happening to me, but you have faulted every bit of my logic. It feels a little like a dream when I think back, how things fell together and how it felt to be sleeping under the stars, kind of. The mesh top of the bouncy castle we'd slept in for more than one night provides the perfect screen for the stars and being away from the hustle of the city makes it possible to actually see them. I pretend i know what the fuck I am talking about and point out star formations that I'm probably making up and my hand is comfortably pushed down to the plushy surface after at least three bold faced lies about the Milky Way, and with a soft laugh and a shake of the head it is decided that I should shut up, but somehow she lets me keep talking utter bullshit. "I'm so glad we are not at the rash hotel," and hey, so am I.
EAST VILLAGE, NEW YORK.
It's day three of being in my apartment without us switching beds and there are things of yours all over the floor. When I get up in the middle of the night I trip over a pair of shoes and when I stumble into the wall with an outstretched hand and stop myself with a thud I hear the cackling that has come to be second nature to me. Even then, I know there is a soft lit at the end, some concern, you don't want me to be hurt, even if it is funny. I swear you wake up just to catch me doing these things, you have a timer in your head to catch my embarrassment. You know it is still ticking by now, but back then it was still being fine tuned. You close your eyes and roll over with a sigh, but I can still hear the soft laughter, trying to pretend you don't find something so small so amusing, or maybe it is the fact that I'm halfway doing the splits across the floor at five am. I don't know how long it takes to know someone, and I like the idea that maybe you never do, but I know in these moments, that if there has anyone who has ever known me and still liked me anyway, it is you. You have seen things others would and have turned away from, you know me too well already, and it scares me but I like it. When I get back into bed there's a shift against the mattress, you know I'm getting in close to you, and I hear the sigh on your lips. "You're lucky it's still winter."
SANTO DOMINGO, DR.
You know, I think this was the last time we really drank all year. A vacation is meant to bring you ultimate in relaxation and going with a bunch of knuckleheads isn't always the best idea, but they stay in a villa and we stay in a hotel and I feel a sense of joy at that. When the night is winding down and it is just you and I outside the bar, leaving glasses on the side walk, I think about how nice it is to be away from everything. Even though my clothes are sticking to me and I can see where yours are too, I think about how strangely calming it is, hearing the muffled sounds of music and people screaming. I have always been bad at being in clubs, or bars, I'm not the right temperament, which is kind of laughable given the fact that my job tends to lead me to those places. It feels much more natural wondering through the streets, it feels a lot more natural paddling around in the ocean at who knows what time in the morning, where everything is still inky black and you're not sure if it is my hand or yours in front of your face, but it was mine, it still is.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.
It's never felt right to try and live there but when we walk through the doors of the house I rarely stay at, god, I know this feels good. It scares me at first, how easily it happens, how there is almost no transition or weirdness. We go to the pier, because I cannot remember ever going, and we watch kids run around and eventually give them our tickets for the rides. Suspended above everything, it's hard not to feel a sense of calm, and it's hard not to evaluate everything. I have always gotten a little romantic in certain lights and it's not twilight but I feel some sense of that rise up in me. If only we could have known what was to come, would we have ridden it a little longer? Would we have tried to suspend the moment, or would we know that there would be so many more to come? I like to think we've always known that there was something more on the horizon, and now we know for sure. We walk through a parking lot, we pass another couple and wonder about their origins. I wonder if anyone does that to us, and I wonder all the ways in which they could never get it right.
There are few things that capture the spirit of this place in a way that resonates with me, there are not enough Ludacris albums to sum up my feelings on such a place, and I wish that maybe there were, that maybe I could put into words what this time was like. it's too warm to feel like the world is progressing into winter, and I know back home is not much different, thank you El Nina, and that capitalist pigs that thrive in our nation and our world. It's warm everywhere, and yet I can feel fall, maybe because I want to. I might have convinced myself that there was a shift in the weather, I might have convinced myself that there was something different. We continued traditions, we find somewhere to lay out heads that feels like it was the perfect place to be in that time. Party City made us feel at home, and also no one said anything about us bringing our dog inside, but I think we played it right. You have to be kind of certifiable to take a dog into a store, right? So people won't fuck with you when you do it, but make sure the dog is really adorable.
Have you ever floated in a pool in the tropics, in a villa? I previously had done it, but never on a giant cow inflatable that will not make it without a few holes chewed in it. There were many times when I would say we have taken different path, when we have gone somewhere we should not, and maybe pretty much anytime we have gone anywhere would count for that, but when we veered off that path and got called back by some angry tour guide, and we erupted into laughter heading down a long hill towards a bath of mud. It was fitting and we know it. We have never taken the right path, we have always gone our own way, no matter if it made sense or not. It has always made sense to us, and that is what matters. I used to think that it was silly to vacation, how much lounging in a bathing suit did one person really need, did we have enough SPF for that? But I know now, I get it, it's about spending time independent from everything else, it's about knowing that there's nothing better than being on your own, totally and completely, with someone you love. Even when you think they might be car sick on you.
WILDWOOD, NEW JERSEY.
I've always had the spirit of a revisionist in me. I like to go over things way too much, to the point where they make me sick in my mouth, which is only slight hyperbole. One of the last times, if not the last, that we got to take the van before CT ruined it had us in New Jersey of all places. I know you hate it, but I know you also love it, and I'm no stranger to letting the sentiment take me over, so I do, and we sit in a tent, a yappy little dog at our feet, excitedly throwing himself towards the water and then running back. He's scared and he can't stop looking back at us for reassurance, he needs to know that it'll be okay and that we won't go anywhere, and we tell him every time though laughter, and he runs back out with newfound tenacity. I wish I had that sometimes, the tenacity, but our hands brush against each other and there is the sounds of distant birds in a tree, and the thudding in my chest which finds a way of making it into my ears at every moment when I feel the slightest brush of skin from you. I know how the dog feels, alight, rejuvenated by the presence of someone, reassured.
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
Once the dust has settled and we have combined two small apartments into one home, I can look around and know that the way that things mingle and the way that they entwine themselves is the most natural thing I have seen. It is like those candles were always meant to be next to that book and that table was always meant for that lamp. There has been a lot, and while I am being reflective, this year has been the most monumental of my life. I benchmark my achievements differently now. In a year where my career hasn't been the only thing I have focused on, it feels good. I have always wanted to live a little, and then a little more, and I was finally able to give it a try. It was scary, and strange, and sometimes it even hurt, but I'm leaving it feeling good, rejuvenated, and ready for my entire life to be totally flipped, turned upside down, Fresh Prince style, by one tiny dude or dudette. I wish I could tell you all of the things I have thought about or all the things that have brought us to this point, but you probably just want to throw up on some stuff and I can't blame you for that.