Oh, puppy love. That champagne sparkling pizzazz of heady love-making frenzy. That mind-rattling, stomach-twisting fragrance wafting along in the air, never quite tangible but ever pervading. That warm fuzz collided with dirty, lusty want.
When naked, exposed souls glide against each other like liquid silk, glossing over the imperfections and rough edges with fluttering kisses and deeply desperate, impatient embraces. When the world melts away as you stare deep into each other’s eyes and reach out to gently touch and hold your lover’s face, as if you can’t believe that it really exists, there, in front of you, gazing so tenderly back at you… in a dingy NYC subway filled with cranky morning commuters. When you sing — literally sing — how crazy you are about each other, complete with all-silly smiles and playful poking… in a disco-ball lit, cracked velour-seated karaoke room in Koreatown.
So I’ve recently found a new someone. He’s just… cool. He’s kind and thoughtful and impossibly sweet, and he’s über nerdy, but that’s okay because I’m (closet) nerdy too, and to top it off he’s handsome to boot. In short, I think he’s wonderful.
All the same, while the sappy sweet little nothings may make us trip on giddiness, I can’t help but think back over our dialogues and think if this was anyone but me, I might choke:
Me: (Poking him in the stomach) What you smilin’ about?
Him: ‘Cause you’re here with me.
Me: (Giggling) Silly.
Him: (Smiling in tandem)
Me: Ooh, what was that?
Him: Nothing, it’s nothing.
Me: No, tell me!
Him: It’s kind of cheesy.
Me: (Whining) Tell me…!
Him: Well, yesterday when you weren’t texting me at all, I was wondering how nice it would be to see your smile. And then you smiled just now.
Me: (Blows a kiss over a video chat screen.)
Him: (“Catches” the kiss and “keepsakes” it down the collar of his shirt.)
What I realize is that constant feeling that your cheeks might burst from smiling so damn much, and that your heart might explode and shit blood and ecstasy all over you, and that your thigh muscles feel as if they’ve been ripped to shreds, and that feeling that no matter how tightly you hold on to a person, you just can’t hold all of his being — all that — is just… exhausting.
That’s bad and, still, good, of course — sort of like that dazed masochistic bliss you feel after beating your body to a pulp after a grueling gym workout, or waxing the shit out of your eyebrows, legs, and other unmentionable hirsute areas. After all, how many times in life do you get to feel lucky — so lucky, so privileged — to have something, that you spend every second away from that person petrified with apprehension that they might suddenly change their mind and decide that no, they’re not experiencing that same terror, just about you.
But then you start wondering just how long you can keep walking around while feeling your chest cavity is going to explode and implode all at the same time. How many days and weeks and months you can want to do nothing except want to see and be with your someone. How many hours you can spend purring and slathering yourself all over your someone. How long your work colleagues and friends will put up with your spontaneous, unwarranted giggling as you recount some insignificant encounter between you and your someone.
I can at least answer the last question: Not long, if my friends throwing trail mix at us during a recent casual lounge outing is any indication.
All that said, I can feel the first of that initial wave of honeymoon high beginning to wax and wane. Like how I still feel a thrill when he calls me his girlfriend or I call him my boyfriend, but I hesitate far less to bombard him with my girlfriend neediness. Like how I love that we never aren’t touching each other when we sleep together at night, but how I can’t quite get through the entire night pressed tightly up against him, arms wrapped around his chest, no matter how much I’d like it. Like how I still want to do everything with him, and I only want to go out if he’s there, but I can’t bring myself to agree to every outing he suggests. Like how I love that he’ll hold my hand no matter where we are and will never stop stroking it gently with his thumb, but sometimes I just really need both hands.
“Baby,” I start, tugging at his iron clutch. “Baby, I need my… BABY, can… yes, can I have my hand back, please?”
And it’s a little bit relieving but mostly… terrifying. If I already fall into routine after a month and a half, is that an indication of a lack of that non-platonic spark? If I’m too myself around him, does that mean I’m not trying hard enough to wow him, and by extension does that mean that I don’t see him as someone I need to wow? And if I don’t always want to rub up against him cat-style (see below), does that mean I’m just not attracted enough?
On that note, I guess here’s to the irrational fears of a girl who thinks too much.
The one thing I do know is that I’ve met someone who I really feel has his head and heart in the right places, and who I feel, despite the flaws, that I mesh with — and who feels the same way about me. As he puts it, “I think we make a really good couple.”
And damn you all if you’re judging me for the cheese, but I really think so too.