Don’t tell me what the poets are doing
It was 1998 and I was doing the last steps of a dance with someone I should never have invited to dance in the first place. He was everything the last poor decision was not, but that didn’t make things any better.
There was the night he held a fistful of my hair in his hand, as I walked away without it. The night he screamed at me so I punched him square in the face and the people walking by at 2am asked if I was ok. Clearly, no. I have notoriously poor taste in men.
I cut my hair and wore ripped jeans, and was someone I don’t really recognize anymore. I wrote poetry and honestly believed in it.
I met a boy one night. This isn’t one of those stories, so it’s ok if you’re related to me and are still reading. He looked at me from a window and he knew.
We went to a pub and drank cheap pitchers of beer, laughing with friends and stumbled back to his rented townhouse where we watched a Disney movie, of all things, while our friends paired up and made out. We didn’t.
He showed me how he created amazing animation on his computer, at a time when I barely knew what the Internet was, or how to use a computer for anything more than writing an essay. He had crazy hair and wore Birkenstocks and wanted to cook me pasta with baby clams.
When I passed out on a friend’s couch out of exhaustion, I woke hours later to find him staring at me. He’d already fallen in love, but I knew he was making a mistake because I have notoriously poor taste in men, and he was obviously too kind for me.
I broke his heart. He broke mine. Remember that IKEA coffee mug I hurled? We kept that set even after we were married; one missing.
And fifteen years later our story is my favourite and he was probably right that first summer: you love me, too, and you always will. I told him not to let it get to his head, but you know he did anyway.
It’s funny when a song brings it all back with such force. I am so very lucky for all that happened that summer in 1998.