One of our favorite regular contributors tells us about her first love.
Was it love at first sight? I don’t remember. I don’t recall the clumsy first attempts.The first moves. They’re filed away somewhere, in the archives of my mind.
It’s a different love now, though. Plaited with experience. With the weight of joy and loss and sadness, collected over months and years.The innocence and simplicity has gone forever.
I’m never without you, in some form. You’re in my heart. My thoughts. I daydream new ways to experiment with you. To make you uniquely mine.
It’s an ambivalent love at times. I long to keep you to myself. To hide you from the world. Because to me, you are perfectly imperfect. The way you’re put together. The way you sound. Your taste. But what if the world doesn’t agree? And yet I want to share you, too. Show you off. You weren’t made to be hidden.
You’ve been my strength. My refuge. My catharsis. You help me see things, the way they are. And not the way I’d like them to be. You clarify. Consolidate. Comfort.
We separated for a little while. For a few years, life rushed in and we couldn’t find time for one another. I missed you. Filled the void with other things. And yet I didn’t love any of them, as much as I loved you.
You took me back. And we tried again. It felt odd at first. I’d changed. My voice was different. It was richer. Louder. More assertive. We danced an awkward tango. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be. Clunky. Rusty. I wondered why I’d ever walked away. How I could have given you up.
I began to crave you. To recognise the shape you give to my days and nights. How vital you are for my sanity.
You feel good after a long day. It’s an easy intimacy. Familiar. I knead you with my fingers. You rise with their touch.
Through you, I understand and make sense of grief. Of lust. Of despair. Of this life full of wonder and wounds.
I’ve had other loves, of course. And I’ll have more.
But none quite like you. My first love.