he only dates with intention
he doesnt waste his time with girls
he doesnt see a possible forever with
& thinks ten steps ahead
in those plans
in that practical future
he sees a possibility of us.
im a probability
& i want him to bet on my odds.
fact: i’ve never actively pursued anyone before,
unless you count the 7th grade.
i bought one of those fake fundraising roses
& gave it to my 8th grade crush.
“crush” is an appropriate adjective,
for after i left he properly mocked me in front of his friends
& threw it in the trash.
i never considered myself closed off,
but i definitely wised up real fast.
my heart was no longer visible on my sleeve,
a gleaming badge asking to be stolen.
instead.. it was stitched carefully into the inside of the cuff
so i could finger the seams discretely,
reassuring myself it’s still there.
somehow its made its way to the outside world.
& its a scary place.
we sit there, having finished our meal
me pressed to your side, people watching
we quietly observe the tired families who pass us
pushing on to make their time
your arm is draped over my shoulder, casually.
im peaceful. im happy.
“are you gonna be devastated when i leave?” he asks,
i pause, holding my breath, pressing my lips hard together to keep from blurting out my truth.
“im really worried about you that’s why…” he says, filling the silence i created, as he leans in to kiss the side of my head.
“i dunnoooo… i mean, what do you think? .. are you going to be? devastated i mean?” i shift away from him so i can turn to see his face.
“yeah, i’ll be a lil’ devastated” he shrugs.
“i just.. i dunno. i don’t do well with change– well no one does i guess. but i’m a creature of habit. i like plans. this will just shift… things. im afraid of the unknown.”
“yeah i know”
“i mean… i could fly mostly Pheonix. i like it. it’s good credit.. and i could visit. but is that what you’d want?”
“yeah of course!”
“but i don’t want you to feel obligated to see me, just because i’m flying there. i don’t want to be an obligation.”
“no. you won’t be.. but you have to understand, studying is studying. that’s a non-negotiable. after those first 9 months of school, i’ll have more flexibility”
“i get that…” i nod slowly, reassuring him of my being on the same page, “yeah. i get it.” i reaffirm, giving a final, concise nod, as if my chin was a firm handshake agreeing to these terms.
i lean back into him as we resume our people watching, letting our words sink in
” i just need you to know though..” i begin, looking down at my lap, “this,” i draw a circle widely with my hand in the space before me, “whatever this is… it’s important to me… you know?” i turn to face him again, to make sure he understands.
my eyes flit acros
the power he holds.
his eyes shrink to mischievous slits, “oh? this isnt just fun for you?” he smirks.
i nervously laugh, “no. you know it isn’t. not for me. for you?”
he stops smiling, “no. its not.”
“ok. good.” i nod.
its not ground breaking
but its a start.
Sometimes i wonder if my career will eventually desensitize me to my love of traveling
living day to day in different cities
“the world must seem so much smaller to you now huh?” i was asked
“actually, it feels so much bigger. i visit cities i’d never thought i’d want to visit in a lifetime” i replied.
but i think i miss,
the way traveling was a luxury
even an anxiety
the way airports gave me goosebumps
& i would savor the experience,
even down to the prepackaged nuts
because i wouldn’t know when the next time i’d enjoy them would be.
i listen in on pockets of eager early morning conversations in line at the airport Starbucks
lusting over all the excursions they’re going to embark on once they land,
or reminiscing about all the experiences they’ve just had as they head back home.
sometimes i witness the travel bug symptom of guests being extra nice to each other
because they know their prepaid vacation’s outcome hangs in the balance of getting along with their siblings, their seat neighbor, their husband or wife… & no one wants moods soured over something so trivial in the grand scheme of Disneyland, NY Times Square, or some other highly sought destination.
self, dont let this routine take away the wonderment of exploring
maybe im just overly dramatic
& am exaggerating this sudden complacency on both ends
but i feel like it was too easy to come to this
& too much to sacrifice to make it work.
you’d need to grant me the moon & the stars
the unconditional love & happiness,
if i were to meet your conditions,
& sign on the dotted line.
but i dont think you will.
i dont think you’re capable of it.
its a lifestyle
its a trade.
the way i see myself living for the rest of my life… for yours.
its a life i dont see for myself.
& i know,
being pushed out of your comfort zone is supposedly a good thing,
but how much should one have to be pushed,
before its no longer even your zone at all?
its a whole other field entirely?
doesn’t too much pushing just make for a pushy partner?
i dont want kids.
at least, i dont think i do.
& i could go into the why’s, & the ways i could work around it…
but in the end, my indecision could cost us this relationship.
i didnt know i had a deadline for figuring my shit out.
at least, i didn’t know i had to work on a timeline other than my own.