The following piece was written in response to a Scrabble-style small group writing exercise at our most recent writer's retreat in Khanom. (Check out the main writing page for more info on this exercise and for other exercises and prompts!)
The words we came up with for this exercise were: Both, box, owl, half, hope, sex, sing, nut, oat, told, dorms, PJs, mug, glow, and wig
I remember it, but whether my memory of it matches what it was in reality, I just don't know. In my head, it was a good thing. We both wanted it, and neither of us had had it before. But it wasn't about that, it wasn't just sex, just "busting a nut." Truth be told, I think we were hoping for something else entirely, something profound. It seems silly now, looking back at it. Two kids living in adjacent college dorms, half way to adulthood, thinking that what had finally arrived was real life. When in reality, I still slept in mismatched PJs and his favorite meal was Lucky Charms from a coffee mug. It would be years before we knew the difference between a bread crumb and a rolled oat. We were just kids.
But at the time, we were older than we ever had been. And to us, that meant something. Everything did. I collected everything he ever touched, putting it all into a little box with hearts drawn all over it. He wrote down everything I said, ready to sing it back to me in an ode to the things we thought our lives would be. We would stare at each other for hours sometimes and just glow. Nights passed without sleep, as we cooed and hooted like owls in love.
It's funny how strong those feelings were at the time, compared to what they have become. It's like the detection of gravitational waves emitted from a black hole billions of years ago. Faint as they are now, you know that at the time of their creation, the universe shook. God himself lost his breath for a moment. The fabric of space and time was permanently altered. The effects of this can not be easily covered, like a bald head with a wig. Oh no, the effects of that night will reverberate forever in both of us, in everything we touch from now until forever. Whether or not we acknowledge it.
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.