It’s official. I am a hopeless romantic. Or rather, hopeful romantic, because instead of leading me down a path of despair, my tendency to fall quickly madly deeply generally leaves me buoyant, afloat atop a sea of all things wonderful. I meet a guy, sparks fly, and pretty soon I’m rocketing out of Earth’s orbit into Feelings Land, a place where sleepless nights, chocolate fountains, and cloying voices abound. Suddenly, I am in tune with the individual spirits couched in every blade of grass, I can tell the sky is azure and not Brandeis blue, I can detect the faint smell of bougainvillea over the California exhaust. I’ve become Walt Whitman, and I have transcended into a Song of Myself Made Clearer by Him (not the Capital H Him of various world religions, but the regular – and very special – him capitalized for the sake of a borrowed title.) When you pair he with me, you get heme, which are components of hemoglobin, which as you’ll recall are part of blood, which has so much significant symbolism I needn’t go any further. You get the point. He + me = Bright New World.
Okay, dear reader, I think you know where I’m going with this: I’ve met a new him. And you’re not going to believe this, but somehow, this him is making the world even brighter than all the other hims before him. It’s like Chris Evans has delivered a payload to the sun and it’s exploding all this crazy light and energy into the solar system and everything is magnificently illuminated. The details have become so remarkably clear that I think I’ve stepped into a Wes Anderson film, but I know I haven’t because there’s no Tilda and no Jason and no Bill Murray. Yet. (Dreams come true, kids, ask the folks over at Make a Wish Foundation).
I open a book, read one paragraph – nay! three glorious lines – and I immediately want to text him with the insight his existence has somehow just gifted me with. Dots are being connected before my very eyes like some sort of spooky Einsteinian particles — of course I see the influences of Aristotle! How could anyone miss those allusions to Dante! Obviously Rilke was influenced by El Greco! It’s exciting and overwhelming and maddening but his intense intelligence has lit a fuse which I hope extends for light years because I don’t want it to ever explode unless that explosion is some sort of aha! genius moment in which I discover the secret of the universe. Then it would be okay.
And he is not just healing my injured intellectual self rendered crippled by too many glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and conversations about skinny people. No no, dear reader, he is also releasing the valves of my heart so that so much emotion is pumping through my veins that the mere sight of a puppy or mention of some forgotten war in Cajamarca brings me to my knees. I’ve jumped from Wes Anderson to Chen Kaige, where now every frame doesn’t just have meaning but Meaning, as in you-will-cry-at-the-sight-of-this-moon-landscape-so-help-me-Buddha (even though China is not religious, at least not in any Western sense). It’s almost too painful to breathe, because even the air is thick with feeling- sticky, sweet, consuming feeling. I mean, it gives us life!! (Don’t even get me started on water.)
And then, of course, he excites me. Like the French kind of excitement. Like the “I can’t write this because my mom reads my blog” kind of excitement. But, suffice it to say, it’s exciting. I’ve dreamt about him every night this week. Suffice it to say.
All of which basically means one thing: I am, of course, absolutely and utterly terrified. Here I go again, climbing higher and higher up a ladder surrounded by a thousand sharp spears and Inferno-like flames, bolstered by the exquisite notion that maybe, just possibly, by some incredible chance, I may have found the right person to share things with. It seems so simple, a rule from kindergarten, and yet, how profound. Sharing. It’s deep on so many levels, like a T.S. Eliot poem, but not pretentious. I know it shouldn’t take another person to bring out so many colors in a sunset and flavors in a curry and hidden notes in Mahler’s Symphony #2, but dammit, for some reason it just does. So screw it, I’ll keep climbing and the spears will get sharper and the flames hotter, but that’ll just be the price I pay for the magnification of the world through him. And who knows? Maybe this time the ladder won’t come crashing down or I won’t slip or a huge storm won’t tear me from it. I’m hopeful.