What was I supposed to do when I met someone who meant so much to me?
“You’re in the belly of the beast,” she said to me.
I felt naïve and confident and terrified and coddled and right. I felt right. I felt like a child.
We were sitting on the playground together. I was the new kid; it was her turf. But I was used to being the new kid. I always landed myself in places I didn’t belong. As a kid, I moved around a lot, but more than that I made spaces up. I created places that I saw fit. As an adult, a lot of my life revolves around creating and occupying spaces that didn’t before exist, at least not for long. It’s lonely work.
I didn’t feel alone in that moment.
“I won’t stop,” I replied. “Please… just… please keep being you.”
I ran away.
I didn’t know how to say goodbye. I couldn’t make words. I hadn’t been that close to a star before. I panicked, a beautiful trainwreck, I got lost on the way out of the bookstore and found myself here, in a bar down the street writing this, because I needed to put these words down. To cherish this moment. To make sure it was real.
It was real.