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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Monday, Dec. 02, 2019 @ 10:56 am
He comes over for dinner, and I show him what I’ve been practicing: Lindy swivels. I dance in my living room, and he immediately stands up, walks over and turns up the music. Takes my hand. We dance around in my living room, candles flickering, soup simmering on the stove. Cold, French white wine sits in sweating glasses on the coffee table.
We eat dinner that I made. We read on the couch, our legs tangled together.
I put down my book and move towards him. Kiss his cheek, his eyelids, his earlobes.
We walked together the other night across the city, the night cold, my first time wearing a toque this winter. As we walked towards the theatre, I asked about his year off.
“What did you discover in that year off? Would you do it again? What would you do differently next time?”
“In that year off, I gained clarity about what was missing in my relationship. I have always planned to take another year off, and this time I wish to do it with someone who will share the adventures with me. I’d like to do it with you.”
Each day, he sends me a message: Good morning, beautiful! I love this message. I love that he calls me beautiful. I never thought of myself as beautiful. Strong, competent, diligent, reliable. But beautiful? That’s not me. I mean, nobody ever told me that, so why would it cross my mind? And now, why does this hold so much meaning for me? I think that I’ve always identified as a secret garden. Behind an unkempt wall is the most delicate, most sensual garden that you’ve ever stepped into. Who but him has taken the time to work open the rusty gate?
“Why do you like about me?” I’d asked, months ago now.
“You are sensual. You are independent. You are smart.”
And another conversation, after he meets up with friends for drinks while I nurse a cold at home.
“I can see that you are smitten with her,” she said to him, “but is she smitten with you?”
Sunday afternoon, I lay in shallow, hot water in my bathtub. The white walls, the fluffy teal towels. My hair floating around me like a mermaid.
My stomach drops out for a moment. What the heck am I doing?
I am so reckless, to allow him to love me, to allow myself to love him.
I allow the fear to wash over me and seep out into the hot water.
I close my eyes and tell myself:
You deserve this. You are enough. You are fully equipped to love. Don’t give up now. You won’t end up in the same place as last time; you’ve learned, and you chose differently. Trust this, trust him.