We were walking up the hill along side dark store fronts and upon a broken and uneven sidewalk that could have easily sent me falling on my face.
I leaned into him and put my hands in his coat pocket for warmth. I believe at that point I had given him back his mittens on principle. No straight man wears mittens – especially monogrammed ones.
I laced my arm through his to keep the world from spinning. The Schlitz and the Alka-Seltzer and the heat of the gallery had been too much and I had started to feel faint. I needed fresh air despite the fact that this, the first real night of winter cold, made it hard to breathe.
We trudged up the hill and I burrowed my cheek into his shoulder. This would be over soon, this acceptable intimacy, this phase of friendship that was just that – friendship - but held the added perk of being able to hold hands and hug and call each other "shmoopie".
My good friend regularly refers to life as an inevitable constant. I think that is what makes living beautiful, the change, the birth, the restoration and renewal. Knowing on days when it feels as though your heart hurts so much, that no one in the world has ever felt that kind of pain, that with each breath, each fraction of a moment, life is moving you one step closer to healing and letting go.
Nothing lasts forever but rather there is growth and there is fading away. I don't believe that one is necessarily better than the other. Our hearts just move like ocean waves, impossible to remain unmoving.
I feel so very fortunate to have had relationships throughout my life that make me believe in the quality of men and women. Somewhere along the way I became okay knowing that not all of these relationships would last forever. We change and flow from one phase of our lives to the next – one companion to the next.
The hope, I suppose, is that you find one, at the very least, that lasts a life-time but I am sure even in those cases no one party is the same at the beginning of the journey as they are at the end.
So as we walked up the hill and I clung to him for warmth, I joked that soon this would be over. Soon – god willing, he will find someone to be his pair for life and then she will have exclusive rights to his pocket. Just as it should be.
"One day you'll find a girl-friend and I won't get to cuddle with you anymore."
"Thank god. Geez, your cuddling could be cock blocking me right now."