There is a man here on this earth that I love more than any other person, and for some reason, that makes him the most difficult person in my life to write about.
I feel like this goes beyond the cliché “I can’t put my feelings into words,” because I can. There are a million words to describe all the feelings and thoughts I have about him, the trouble is just choosing the right ones.
There are moments I have with him that make it feel like time has slowed from it’s usual brisk jog almost down to a stop. The air feels different, the light looks different, and it’s as if in those moments my mind is attempting to take a photograph to keep the memory as in tact as possible, but the photo is overexposed. I feel like gravity has just stopped working and that we’ve fallen off the planet and everything in the universe is now existing on a completely different plane and we are alone with the elements of the earth.
Even as I write this, it does not seem totally accurate. There is always a point in your relationship with someone that your feelings spread far apart from the simple “I like you,” and “I love you,” into something that takes you far out of your body and into something else. This is the kind of thing that Shakespeare and millions of other authors have tried so hard to write about. Unfortunately, while we try the best we can in sonnets and songs and novels and Hallmark cards, we will never get it right. Yet just like myself, we try and we try, and I’ll continue trying until I have run out of possible combinations of words, or I’m dead, the latter being the most likely end.
Calling him my boyfriend, although that’s what he is, seems petty. We’re best friends, we have been since I was a freshman in high school. Calling him my “high school sweetheart” isn’t right either, after all, we didn’t get together until he was already out of high school altogether and high school memories are not the first thing that comes to mind when I think about him.
His name is Alex. Truthfully and legally, his name is Christopher, but he’s been called Alex (his middle name) since before he can even remember. He is strange and has brown eyes and wears glasses just like mine; we’re almost the exact same level of blind. When we met, he had really nice long hair like River Phoenix. Now, being in the Marines, his hair never gets more than two inches at any once place, but that’s just fine. I’ll still think he’s handsome even when he’s bald.
Right now, we’re far apart. After spending years evolving in his presence, physically, he’s thousands of miles away. As cliché and naïve as it may seem, the distance has somehow brought our minds closer together, even though our bodies spend a lot of time apart. It only makes the moments that we’re near each other again seem that much more like magic. We were happy before he left, but there is a change as well. We now know exactly what we’re missing, so we hold on to those moments we have like they are the only precious things left in the world.
He’s a better cook than I am, but I’m a better baker. We can both sew, but he does it only for necessity whereas I do it more for fun. It goes back to the one part of him that is just very good at fixing things when they are broken or torn. He fixes the holes in the knees of his pants just like he patched up the spots of me that had been worn down by the life I had before we met. He holds me together, and I care for him fiercely.
We both like reading, but we have very different tastes in books. He loves those super complex fantasy and sci-fi novels, where as I prefer non-fiction and realistic fiction (not to say I don’t like fantasy too). He uses books to escape to another world so far from ours that it is almost impossible; I use books to escape the pettiness of my own life for a few hours while I slip into someone else’s. He says he hates sad books and movies, because there is enough real sadness in the world, and maybe he’s right. Maybe myself and others are just using other people’s sad stories to make our own sad stories seems less so, and he’s beyond that. Perhaps, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.I’ll never quite know, because it’s impossible not to believe every single word he says. He is one of those magical people who doesn’t speak very much, but when he does every single syllable means something.
The best way I can describe him right now is that he fills me with life in a way nothing or no-one else can. He is the brightest beam of light that shines into the dusty attic of my heart. But he is more real than any metaphor about him I could ever write. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Shakespeare rhetorically asked his love a long, long time ago. I could compare him with so many things. I could personify the moon and the stars and the ocean to fit his image and help paint a picture of him for the world, but it would never be quite right, because to me, he is much more real than any of those things. He is the most possible impossible thing that will ever float into my world, and like all possible impossible things, novels and epics will be written about him that will never pinpoint what makes him so grand.
He is difficult to write about because he is not a character, he is not just a story. He is real. The most real force of life I will ever know, and no matter how many books are written about it, real life cannot be read on paper, it can only be seen, and tasted, and felt, and felt about.
For him, I feel an encyclopedia’s worth of feelings with 100 thesauruses’ worth of different words to describe those feelings wrapped up inside. Every day, the words and their meanings continue to expand with every thought I have of him, with every time we make each other laugh. We’re both impossible people living in a world of possibility.
Our story does not exist on paper, but in everything else.