This is story of a stranger that became a lover, then a stranger again.

 And song that once was ours and now I carry as mine.  And it feels appropriate that the song is called bloom because some beautiful things are just a season. 

Shall I write it in a letter?
Shall I try to get it down?
Oh, you fill my head with pieces
Of a song I can’t get out

I found Charlotte amid a bubble bath after heartbreak, a glass of wine, a brash download of every dating app in existence, and a simple stroke of my finger. I certainly wasn’t looking for anything real, and lord knows I wasn’t ready.

A match quickly turned into a series of witty sports puns that rolled off me with ease and I don’t know fucking thing about sports. I should of known then that I was going to move into unprecedented spaces with her.

She arrived to our first date unfashionably late in a full face of make-up and heels, which to this day She’ll argue aren’t heels at all. 

“They’re boots!” She’d exclaim! 

She is almost indescribable. She walks a tightrope between disheveled and flawless. Toes the line between masculine and feminine.  She is uncategorizable and I had absolutely no idea what to do with her. You see I have always dated stone cold butches or jesbians, that’s Justin Bieber looking lesbians, and she was neither of these.  

As I stood up to greet her I flashed through what I like to call the four stages of swiping grief

  1. Shock: “have I been catfished?”
  2. Denial: “You are not the butch I ordered!” 
  3. Annoyance:  “Damn you really need to update your profile.”
  4. Acceptance: “Fuck it I’m already here.”

 “let get a drink,” I say. 

That was the first night in a series of many that began with whiskey and ended with me in awe of her in the morning light.

At first I wanted to blame the liqour because I’m not the sort of girl that goes home with a stranger from a dating app and she wasn’t even my type. I wanted to believe that I lost my senses to a pool of warm cinnamon tinged liquid. That Rittenhouse was to blame for those uninhibited kisses. In truth though, I lost my reason in her most mundane manifestations and in a sea of synchronicities that I couldn’t explain but felt to my core. That iteration of reality is endearing at best, and quite clinical at worst. And while I’ll freely shed most everything about myself, I’m quite certain my pride is bound to my bones. And what prideful woman admits she lost herself in details so categorically simple. 

I fixated on how she scrolled through her phone with her middle finger as its absolutely natural. When she smiled the corners of her eyelids would sink slightly and softly while one side of her crimson laced lip would rise. It was as if they were nervous lovers leaning into each other briefly just recoil back. I got addicted to the way her would eyes change when something I spoke resonated. They would widen into a big black mysterious pools and I knew I had her even when she didn’t say a word. I fell for the way her small frame fell into chairs with no apologies for the consumption of space that is not proper for female bodies like ours. She did it anyways. My senses sank into her simplicities as easily as my body fell into her bed. 

When I woke in the morning as the sun was spilled in through her skylight I expected to I’d be riddled with guilt and anxiety, but instead I felt totally still. 

In the morning when I wake
And the sun is coming through,
Oh, you fill my lungs with sweetness,
And you fill my head with you

And as she rose to make me coffee, bare, I think every ounce of air left my lungs and in that instant I knew I wanted to be one of her habitual peculiarities too. 

But play it cool girl, she is just a stranger I told myself. 

And its true she was a stranger, but I wanted to know everything. Why did she have so many things hanging on her walls and how many years did it take curate? What are all these books? Has she read any of them? What are her favorites? Why does she have so many protein bars? Does she ever cook? What is up with that? 

Under different twilights we met with whiskey, wine, and my relentless curiosity. I couldn’t have her as a mere stranger, I wouldn’t. I wanted to know her. 

Nestled in her arms I asked brashly, “what are all these random things on your walls?” where she toed lines, I bulldozed through them. 

“They aren’t random! They all have meaning,” she pushes back. 

Bullshit. There is no way every single object has meaning. I quiz her. 

“Okay, what is the story of the wooden fish hanging from rafter?”

She tells me the story of her childhood home and a toy fishing pole. And I can almost picture it. Her young, wild, curious, standing on the edge of lake wondering why she can’t catch a fish, blissfully unaware that pole is just a toy. I point to more objects and with each story my guarded heart softens. I imagine that it’ll take me years to learn the meaning of every object and pray to a god I don’t fully believe in that I get the time.

The books, she read them. She loves poetry and French literature, mostly about love. And it is quite curious because I can sense she is just as terrified of love as I am. Where I chose avoidance, she drowns herself among it like a parched man in an ocean of undrinkable water. Safe on shore I wonder how she stays afloat. I fear I would be swallowed whole.

She hands me one of her favorite poems and watches me as I read it. I’m silent afterwards. She asked what I think of it and I say it is painfully sad. She grabs the book out of my hand and lays kisses over me and suddenly I’m overboard lapping up undrinkable water that only leaves me needing and wanting more. I’m drowning, and like fool enjoying it too; swallowed whole. 

Can I take it to a morning
Where the fields are painted gold
And the trees are filled with memories
Of the feelings never told?

The night before I was set to leave town for two months to city where she knew I had another lover, that I secretly kept to temper my feelings, we spent the whole night making love and when day broke we stayed in bed laughing, talking, and loving until it was dark out again.  I as rose, bare, to throw my life into suitcases I felt the weight of time and miles bear down on me. I had spent my two years in Nashville always trying to leave. I couldn’t peel my eyes off her. Her makeup was gone and the curls that usually hung in her face were pinned back.  I could really see her and it was first moment I wanted to stay. As I drove away from her into the twilight the song bloom came on and it brought my heart to its knees. 

When the evening pulls the sun down,
And the day is almost through,
Oh, the whole world it is sleeping,
But my world is you

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