Blog, Essays & Art

Anniversary. 03/18/05

Today is the tenth anniversary for Steve and me. We met on this day in 1995. Which most of the time doesn't seem like it could possibly be 10 whole freaking years ago. But somehow it is, and here we are.

Life was truly incomplete before we were together. I like to think that he's the other half of myself, but knowing myself to be a whole person in my own right at the same time. We are both daydreamy, fun-loving, child-at-heart sorta people. But he is the outgoing, talkative person I am so not and which I've always admired. And before I had him, I never had enough of the social side of things -- I went walking alone, dancing alone, to concerts alone. But since meeting him I'm part of a large group of friends, which I had always longed for in the past. Which is now the far distant past... this lifestyle, our life, has been the way of things for so long now. And it is a sweet, balanced, mostly-satisfying existence. I take it for granted all too often. And I should stop and appreciate Steve himself more often as well. 

I like to recall the day we first met, to go over the details in my mind, that's part of what keeps it alive... We met at a camping event on a beautiful sunny Saturday. I was at the time living with another guy, a "friends with benefits" sorta arrangement. Those who knew me back then sometimes would mistake the two of us for a couple since we snogged in public when we were bored, but he was just a friend, a housemate, really. Yet I realized that if I wanted to draw the attention of anybody more exciting I'd have to go around without him more often than I already did. So here I was at this camping event alone, having set up my tent in the encampment of some acquaintances the night before and I was now wandering about in the noonday sun, barefoot in the grass, wearing my long red velvet dress with the slit in the back up to mid-thigh. I took pictures of the events going on in the main Eric field, browsed the merchant booths, was stopped by people (both distant friends and complete strangers) to awkwardly trade a bit of small talk. One guy who was obviously attracted to me who I'd met several times before, who I tried to brush off once again. One guy who introduced himself and seemed a polite fellow but dull and unattractive... the sunshine, the flirting, the weekend relaxation of it all, a beautiful day in itself.

Wandering Merchant's Row, it seemed so much a medieval version of "window shopping at the mall and Checking out the Scene". Saw a very good-looking guy who made me think of a lion with his long hair, whiskers and broad shoulders. I attempted a coy glance, wandered on. Camera and tankard in my hand, brass in my pocket.

Back to the main event, I discover that the guy I'd recently gotten over a major crush on was there. I tried to take photos of him and his friends participating in the tournament from across the field, but they wandered off. I held the camera in the same general direction for a while hoping something interesting to take a photo of would move into my range of vision. Looked over at a large pavilion, saw the handsome lion-like guy that had been wandering around that day... Very interesting. Took a picture. Went on enjoying the tournament, feeling happy yet wanting to someone to share it with. Then I noticed him again, standing between two tents behind me. He smiled and came towards me, and I thought, now there's something worth staring at.

He introduced himself and we flirted for a while. Of course I regretted my inability to make conversation, my awkwardness. But soon I realized, my heart beating fast, that he was easy to talk with. He understood me, not just my stumbling words but what I really meant, and who I was, because he had a similar outlook on life. Then he had to go back to camp, but invited me to stop by later that evening.

Which I sure as hell did. It took me a while to find the place, tripping over fallen logs, asking at various campsites for anybody who knew where his group was at, stepping into gopher holes and spilling my drink, feeling trepidation about barging in and seeking out this guy. But eventually I found him, eating a large piece of steak off a knife in the middle of a bunch of other guys standing around a fire. He seemed both surprised and delighted to see me. I offered him some of my drink. He gave me some steak. He introduced me to his buddies (who are the same core group of people we still hang out with to this day) and then he left them behind as the two of us set out to explore the night.

We kissed for the first time in the middle of the empty Eric field, under the stars. I discovered that he had the same appreciation of beauty and nature, the same awe and wonder about the night sky and the universe. Ever since then, Orion has been "our" constellation.

We snogged leaning against a pickup truck. We watched some dancing around the fire. We drank bizarre alcoholic concoctions from a keg. I introduced him to the people I knew, including the guy I'd had a crush on for a year before... who, more than ever, seemed to be someone thoroughly unsuitable to ever be in a relationship with. I felt so free. And alive.

We ended up in my tent that night. Spent hours kissing and talking and fell asleep in each others' arms.

The next day everybody had to leave. He gave me his full name and number. For two months afterward, we would call each other up, and together (yet hundreds of miles apart) we would go outside holding the telephone and look up at Orion every night. Talking, talking and talking, like I'd never done with anyone before. Getting to know the person I'd always wanted to find.

Meeting at events. Glorious weekends. Long, long, long weeks of So Far Away.

And then I moved in with him, May of '95, and began this chapter of my life. From the outside I guess our relationship looks happily-ever-after. And 90 percent of the time it is. I am usually happy when he's with me, lonely when he's away, and have never considered being with anyone else. With all that we’ve been through, whoever we are and will become, I'm his Love and he is mine.

I wonder how we shall celebrate tonight.



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