a perfectly content day

today was so mundane and yet so wonderful. these days happen, and I just don’t think I ever write about them enough. heck, the only reason I’m writing this now is because I’m sitting in a studio with MS and there’s hella reflective music playing and it’s a quiet moment alone with a dear friend and I’m introspective.

I spent the day with good people who affirmed each other and let loose and supported each other. I couldn’t ask for more — I don’t need to ask for more.

on interactions

I never know quite how to interact with someone who effusively compliments me. Do I stand there and accept them at the risk of seeming bigheaded? How does one accept compliments in a way that is simultaneously humble and confident? Do I attempt to reciprocate at a similar breakneck speed? Do I reject the praise?

And simultaneously, I never find effusive compliments to truly be flattering — they simply can’t all be true, and so are none of them genuine?

another part of that conversation

Wait so…but…that first movie was platonic, right?

Oh, yeah, that was totally platonic.

And then what about the second one? Was that platonic?

That was absolutely not platonic.

Ha! I had no idea.

Really? Do you do that with tons of people?

I have guy friends, you know.

I guess.

I was so nervous, you know that? During that second movie. I had such a big crush on you.

Really?

Yes! You made me nervous. You make me nervous.

I make you nervous? Still?

Yeah.

Aww.

Yeah.

Oh wait, that’s right. I could totally tell. That’s how I knew, after that second movie, that things weren’t platonic.

Yeah?

Yeah! I sensed that you were nervous, and I was so confused. Like, why is he nervous? And then it made so much sense.

Ha! Yeah.

that conversation

Why are you smiling like that?

Oh, just every time you look up at me it’s hilarious.

But you also just smile when your eyes are closed. You smile in your sleep.

Well, with my freshman year crush next to me, how could I not?

Wait, what? I was your freshman year crush?

Oh, yeah.

Wow.

Yeah.

But so —

Oh, yeah.

That makes so much sense.

I see.

Yeah.

So…did you know I was in a relationship?

Yeah.

How?

You told me.

I did? Why would I do that?

Oh, no, it just came up on conversation. Like you mentioned something you were doing with your boyfriend, and I was like, oh.

Oh.

Yeah.

Did you ever meet him?

Maybe? I don’t know. I saw you with him once, though.

Really? Where?

I don’t know — but I saw you with a guy once, and it looked like you were, you know, together.

When was this?

Like, freshman year.

Oh, yeah. That would be JKm, then.

So…how did you know we’d broken up?

I kinda just hoped that it’d been a long enough time that — yeah.

Oh, I see.

If I may ask —

Mhmm?

— what happened there? Or, like —

Yeah.

I mean, only if you’re comfortable.

No, I am. It’s fine.

We, ah, dated for a year. And then I just kind of realized we weren’t compatible — like, in terms of long-term compatibility — and so I broke up with him. And he, ah…he didn’t take it well, and, ah, well…now he doesn’t talk to me.

Oh.

But it’s fine! I mean, nothing really happened.

Yeah! I see.

Well…good night.

Good night–

Last night, we held hands, we laughed, we kissed, we looked at each other, and I said:

You’re a really good person, you know that?

And it was far more vulnerable than if I had said something so over the top that it couldn’t possibly have weight. I love youI love you only holds weight when it might be true — I love you to an acquaintance is a dime a dozen: a comment on a profile picture, a squeal at a party of half-familiar faces.

This was vulnerable because I felt it to be so completely true. And his reaction: stumbling, fumbling, throwing a half compliment back and yet not a full one, was disappointing. Awkward returned compliments only happen in the face of perceived unequal power dynamics. He felt I needed affirmation of reciprocation. Fine. But he also knew he couldn’t give it fully. And while I didn’t need that half-assed reciprocation, I think I like him enough that I’m ok with it.

That’s not true. I don’t know where I was going with this.

look I found an old poem from high school

glow-in-the-dark stars

or real

the car zooms by

as I lie there

in the suburbs

banality

to speak

to exist

 

“What the heck is He doing in the grass?”

We pass by.

What the heck

is He doing

in the grass.

 

We pass by.

 

Our light rockets past His grassy spot,

To us

it is brighter –

much brighter

than those supernovas

that are twinkling

 

that are frail

 

that are snuffed out by the mere existence of a streetlight.

For a glimpse

He stubbornly lies

in the grass,

itchy,

damp,

stubborn,

 

effervescent.