Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The (Late) Valentine's Day Post

for boobie.

I felt like a fool.

Pushing that wooden spoon through a thick batter, all because you’d mentioned that you wanted to try the apple dessert I mentioned on Twitter. I baked two whole cakes and gave a half to everyone in the writing group, so no one grew suspicious. We discovered months later that they all knew.

In the extra room of my parent’s basement, in a pile of papers and old journals, is proof. A fourteen-year-old Erica scribbled neatly on a blue line, the first line of a poem stanza…

“I will meet him at Barnes and Noble, a latte cup caressing his lips.”

If I’m correct, that latte cup was a Panera smoothie. Still, this detail did not confuse me. I knew from the moment he shared his first anecdote with the group that I was hooked. He leaned forward from a mahogany bookstore chair and whispered to us as if the bindings were listening:

“Girls are ridiculous now. I went on a date the other day with a woman and we had a really good time. I figured I’d send her flowers the next day. I did. She called enraged and wanted to know why I sent them so soon after our date. She thought it was creepy.”

I want flowers.

It was the first thing that popped into my mind. Soon, I realized that it was hard to focus on the words leaving your lips, just the way that they moved. I wondered the stupid things girls question when they’re in like.

Where did he shop?
Is that a beauty mark?
How long has he had that notebook?
Have I made my way in there?
Has he thought about kissing me the way I’ve thought of kissing him?

On our second date I found those lips on my own. We said goodnight. I did a salsa around my room and called a friend who told me to live again. It’d been three years since I’d really considered affection.

You said we were moving too fast.
I wrote you a poem.

You said we weren’t moving fast enough.
I played hard to get.

In my stubbornness, I realized one thing: I love you.

I love you like our first Christmas tree. I love you like little girls who pray that they’ll one day end up with clones like their fathers. I love you like watching that clone sit across from his reflection, laughing and comparing notes on last night’s game. I love you like opened car doors and pulled out chairs.

I love you like waiting in a green dress, with my mother, in the living room. I was waiting on a text that you’d arrived. It never came.

You were the first man to knock on the door, shake hands with my mother and ask for her permission. I placed my hands on my hips with a ferocity that always drives men away. “I’m 23!” I belted. “I don’t need you to check in with my mother on whether or not you can take me out.”

He smiled. “I want your parents to see that I’m good people.”

I love you because you are good people.

You hold my hand in the car while driving.
While dancing…
While sleeping…
While watching our Wednesday night show…

Are you afraid I might leave? Never.

I love you like wet cheeks and apologies, Six Flags and car fights, and laughter mixed with rum and coke.

Can’t you see that I’m drunk for you? I stumble over these words so often, my anxiety suffocating my expression. I’m sorry that I’m not so great at this believing thing, but my scars are still healing.

Don’t you see me bleed every time you tell me that you aren’t going anywhere?

I want to believe. I will.

I will wrap my mind around the notion that you are solidified. & even if the fates change their minds, you’ll still be my bar. An insurmountable mountain that all will have to climb to surpass the notch you’ve left on my heart.

Mark me. Je t'aime.

-riv

(Wanna read my other Valentine's post over at Edge Magazine? Go here.)

4 comments:

Zuri God'schild said...

sister, oh sister.. I know you only wrote it for him. But I relish it all the same. Quite beautiful.

Christa said...

Girrrl, I feel that. "I love you like wet cheeks and apologies, Six Flags and car fights, and laughter mixed with rum and coke." Yes, I could feel that!

riva. said...

@Leslie It was for you too! I want everyone to know that love is real. I used to be bitter and angry. I was convinced that I'd never find my prince. I never did, but what I did find was an amazing man. I had to learn no man was a perfect prince, they all had flaws. But the triumph of accepting those imperfections is greater than finding the perfection I was looking for. Ugh. Look at me rambling lol.

NinaG said...

wow love this!