I read in a book that it’s important to choose your words carefully. It felt like an oversimplification to an abstract problem. “To find purpose is to be meaningful,” explained the dialogue. I paused for a moment and thought that I guess there was truth to it. Instead of saying, “I’m excited,” to instead be more descriptive and say, “It brings me so much joy to be with you.” I find that being more descriptive is a way in which I’ve found how to express what I feel. It’s my effort to be more honest with my emotions, such that in doing so there is a possibility I can show you what I mean when I say that I love you.
When I’m on the verge of sleeping, I can sometimes feel your heavy breathing beside me. You sweat in your sleep, and it can often be a bit sticky in the middle of the night, navigating the entanglement of the sheets between us I find that your bitter and masculine aroma is like a guiding compass. It’s something I find comforting. It’s comforting because I know you’re warm, and you always will be. It’s your warmth that trademarks my position next to you, as if the curl of your shoulders are my personal invitation to nestle beside you.
When you told me you loved me we were in bed and I was on the cusp of sleep. You whispered it gently in my ear, using my full name as if it meant more to my identity than the playful nickname you’d given me months earlier. I was pretending to be asleep, afraid that if I told you I could hear you it would invalidate your desire to admit something altogether terrifying yet revolutionary to us both. So I held those three little words with too much excitement and anticipation for the moment where I would tell you face to face that I felt the same.
A partner will share in the moments that are not perfect. Though I bite when things are not tidy in the house, it’s a small delight to me knowing you will more often than not leave a damp towel on our dresser after you shower. Your wallet loiters on the kitchen table when we both know it’s true home is on the trolley by the door, and you’ve repeated many stories to me over and over out of a forgetfulness that is boyish and sincere.
While my bark can feel out of place for the things as small as these, please don’t ever stop doing them. It’s a way I know you’re imperfect and you mean no harm to my playful banter, and I will take imperfection over order any day of the week (and twice on Sunday). I’m a fool when it comes to putting dishes in the dishwasher, holding true to my belief that it is not my job to make the cutlery clean before they go in, rather that’s the job of the dishwasher. And yet, you hold me close everytime you pull out a dirty fork because, alas, you love me too. After dinner you’ll rummage through the snack cabinets looking for a treat like the familiarity of waves lapping on the shore; it always comes, gently, doing no harm and simply out of nature. It’s the small patterns of each day like these that I adore about you.
I didn’t expect to believe in the fable of chemistry between two people. When I met you I laughed at your complete willingness to connect with a stranger like me. On our first date I remember being nervous we would run out of conversation. I was apprehensive the evening would be as back and forth as a tennis match. Instead, it was like catching lightning bugs in a jar. Electric, quiet, mystifying and familiar. You laughed when I spilled noodles down my shirt, I giggled when you tripped over your shoelaces trying to show me a view from a park in our small corner of Berkeley. I remember you smelled like after-shave, wearing a blue collar button up, black jeans and Nike sneakers. I replay that memory in my mind often, thanking whatever stars aligned that night for bringing you to me.
And perhaps the quality I find the most profound about you is the way you communicate. It’s as if you look at the world in a manner that expects kindness and love, both of which I found to be unfortunately surprising. Unfortunately surprising because I want badly for everyone to look at the world the way you do. Maybe I didn’t fully understand yet that there is good in people like there is good in you. You are a hidden gem of a human being, dazzling and radiant because you don’t boast inappropriately knowing you’re different than others. You expect love from those around you, you demand a sincerity that is lost to many. I knew you were special from the way you could talk to the people in my life, making them equally as important as the way you treated me.
We share in an abundance of hobbies together, sometimes believing with fruitful passion that they are molded to our identity. I like to believe that we’re different than the time we invest in those ventures though…what makes us perfect is our ability to learn from the circumstances and experiences that challenge us. We find great joy in learning what it’s like to help each other, to motivate one another to do better, to see more, to accept that we won’t be able to do everything. Yet we never cease to find a way to improve, and above else, we never quit trying to make each other better. That’s what I love most about you.