X Marks the Spot

Acceptable topics: cold drinks, good books, things we can pass off as dinner. Bright spots from last week, things we are looking forward to this week, and cloud formations, currently.

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Instead, the game I suspect other single people also play. Sometimes, mostly in moments of weakness. Or when they’re by themselves and WILTING, because oh my goodness, it’s so hot out.

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I will need someone gentle, kind. Someone who will have been in love before, but not so recently that I’ll still be able to see. X marks the spot. There — where it’s no longer red and raw and angry, but it hasn’t quite healed all the way over, either. Not just yet.

He will be older, I think. Older, and hopefully a little wiser.

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I need him to be smart. I need him to be smart more than I need him to be the other 50+ arguably unreasonable things we all wish somebody were, simultaneously and at any given time.

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(Confident but not cocky. Okay, maybe a little cocky — but only occasionally, and exactly when called for. And handsome, but not too handsome. And frugal, but not cheap. And sensitive, but not so much so. Etc., etc., etc. You know this list; you can finish this list.)

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I need him to be gentle and kind and smart and patient. Patient is the big one. Patient is the one I feel like I’m not going to find, in this era of two-second [yes/no] swipes and casual one-night stands.

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I don’t think I do anything casually. I think I might be the opposite of casual.

I need someone okay with a puzzle. Someone who can look at lots of little pieces scattered every which way and not say much of anything, but just quietly start picking them up and moving them around. Grouping these nine, flipping over these five, connecting these two.

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I need someone undaunted by the reality of someone so skittish, so blatantly gun-shy. I need someone who will just be there, at first. Be around. I need someone content to spend a sunset on my measly fire escape, simply leaning into each other. I need someone who will watch me close my eyes and press into the touch, like a cat needing to be petted, and call it a tiny victory.

I need someone who will let me set the pace. Push it, too, of course, but ultimately, for a while: adjust his gait to match mine.

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I need someone who will make me want to write but will also make me hunt for words. Root around — come up with nothing that could even hold a candle.

I need someone who won’t look at me and see what someone who writes 10x more beautifully than me once called a matchstick girl — so bright and so alone.

I need someone who will kiss my cheek and cup my jaw and say: you’ll have your rhythm back any day now. You’ll be loving like a house on fire. Living like you never forgot how.

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{Cannon Beach via @m.carlucci, St. John’s Bridge via @gemini_digitized, Palouse Falls via @brettbrooner, downtown PDX via @justin.watts, trees all aglow via @bokehm0n, soaring eagle via @justin.watts, all on Instagram.}

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