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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Date

The first time I saw you
Was on a computer
When you lept off the screen
I knew you were for me.
So of course we never met
See, I guess I wasn't ready for you to jump off the screen
And I wish I had known then
Just how much I would benefit from that jump
But at the time
I was bound in the barbed wire of honor and duty
and gagged by the sentiments of unrequieted love
Barely surviving an abuse I didn't know was happening

The second time I saw you
Was still on a computer screen
Through the invention of social networking
Your eyes beckoned and somehow promised the future
Obviously, we still didn't meet.
Our lives were in completely different places
You were half a world away
While I was just waking up to read the writing on the wall
But those eyes . . .
For the first time I knew what the phrase
"Necessity is the mother of invention" was all about.
So I invented a reason to reach across the miles and talk to you
And hello became a promise of a drink and conversation
That I knever thought could happen with the thousands of miles between us
Until the day that it did happen
When the magic of social networking told me you were moving
To my city.
Nearly a year had passed
But I remembered those eyes
And in that remembering I became thirsty
Thirstier than I've ever been
My throat became as dry as the desert you were escaping
I gave thanks for the invention of the keyboard that let me type:
"How about that drink when you get in town?"
Because the power of speech was simply not an option
As I had somehow forgotten how to produce sound from my throat and form it into words

The third time I saw you
Was in a bar I'd never been to before
I'd spent the hour and a half before getting there
Pretending to be a teenager in front of my bathroom mirror
And when we met for the first time
I was finally ready.
My sense of duty was to myself as I ordered the first round
My honor stood proud on my face when your eyes locked on mine and I didn't look away
My scars stood prominently and on display
Because I wanted to celebrate my survival in reaching this moment
Having a conversation with you that ended with our lives in the same place
The same place.
Ready for those eyes
We walked down the street
With me trying to resist holding your hand
The angel on one shoulder saying
"It's too soon!"
With the devil on the other screaming
"Fuck that! Grab it!"
And this sort of battle continued as you showed me around my own city
And I followed willingly, seeing it all for the first time
Until it all had to end
And in the late, late night
     (or the early, early morning)
I drove you to your car
And our eyes met when you said you had to go
But not before . . . .

When I was a kid
I took my dad's car keys and stuck them inside a power outlet
So I could start the building
And when your lips found mine, there in the dark,
That's the memory that went through my head
As the electricity moved between us
Only this time
I knew I would do it again
The next time I saw you.

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