Because mostly how things go in these fast-moving times is: you meet, and you flirt, and then you have sex. Sometimes on the same day, or maybe on the second or third date. And then hormones explode and you get all dizzy and euphoric, and then mildly to madly obsessed. You can’t think about anything but him/her, you replay every moment and fantasize relentlessly. You ignore most of your friends and bore the rest of them half to death. This, is what the pop songs call Love. Months go by and then reality intrudes on your daydreams. You start seeing their patterns and they see yours—all the stripes and paisleys and plaids, the screaming neons, the blackest of blacks. The patterns throb and clash, expectations dissolve, disappointed sets in: they were supposed to be perfect. They’re not perfect. And then things get hard. And then they get ugly. And then it is over.
But Daniel and Panther—I have known them for years. We three are fast friends. We’ve seen each other moody, misbehaving, drooling and smelling of shit. We have hung out in celebration and sadness. We have slept side by side on friends’ dusty floors, and all together in my bed (with Panther snoring in the middle). I so treasured our friendship that I made myself let go of wanting, and I simply accepted them both. And was so grateful for their presence in my life. The day after New Years things shifted. We bumped noses and kissed, a bit awkwardly. A new adventure began.
So this is an experiment in loving as a grown-up. In going for it, with gusto—but not being stupid. Holding on lightly, and keeping it real.
I’m not falling in love. I don’t need that dizzying drop. I am just being in love. Being, in love, with a boy, and his dog.
We will road-trip to California, to visit Daniel’s mom. I’ve never been presented to someone’s mom before. Nor did I ever present a lover to mine. Such a nice jewish boy, too—my mother would have cut off her left arm for such a boy. My dad wouldn’t have cared, but he would have gone nuts for the dog. Panther is pleased, as are Daniel and I.