There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought I would sit down, one day, to write David and I’s love story. A love story complete with fictional characters and maybe even some Vampire sparkles thrown in there from time to time – that’s how incredible and noteworthy it truly is. It’s the kinda shit they put in the movies, really, and definitely a novel I would have enjoyed kicking back to, putting my feet up, glass of wine at my side and reading – as long as the author altered the ending, of course. You may be thinking, “How could their love story possibly be that grand – she’s getting a divorce!” That’s precisely the reason why I want to write a bit about this – why I want to tell you what it was that made me fall in love, that made me say, “I wanna spend the rest of my life with this person.”
David and I actually briefly met in June of 2009; a year before we even exchanged names or numbers. The most we had exchanged on this hot, summer afternoon were a few words, some eye contact and a single flower that I wore proudly behind my ear the rest of the day. He was working at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in New York City and all of my Angelenos know just how much of a chore it is to find a decent Mexican restaurant in New York City. I’m sad to say that, Cabrito, as it was so cutely called, is no longer around but the sidewalk at 50 Carmine street in the West Village is. After devouring the heavenly tacos al pastor because at the time I was not a pescetarian, I laid eyes on David. Immediately, I felt an unexplainable connection to this perfect stranger, and I confided to my friend, “That is the epitome of my type.” I wasn’t speaking in purely physical terms, either. A year later, in July of 2010, we shook hands outside of Cabrito – a meeting that was heavily facilitated by David’s older brother and one of my long lost friends whom if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t even have been at Cabrito that warm July night – the same night that would host our wedding date two years later.
I spent the last four days of my annual New York City vacation with David. From rooftop parties to Brooklyn bound trains, from taxi rides to late night rendezvousing in community parks underneath the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, from sharing earphones to a single IPod to endless, educated conversations, from fearless professing of our intense feelings on a Manhattan rooftop, in midtown, as the sky began to subtly spit raindrops on the tips of our noses to racing on foot to Grand Central Station, luggage in tow, so that I didn’t miss my bus to LaGuardia airport – these are only some of the memorable moments, the implausible minutes of our lives, together, that made David utter the words, “Never forget the feeling” and made me gift him the following Christmas, with a bracelet that was engraved with those poignant words: Never forget the feeling.
At times, I can’t help but wonder and ask myself if David and I somehow, somewhere along the road, forgot the feeling. I can only speak for myself, however, when I say that I don’t believe I have because as I write about these memories, I long for them and I weep – I can relive them. I’ll never forget how it felt, standing on a rooftop overlooking Manhattan, with the Empire State Building at its focal point, repeatedly asking David where he came from. A guy like him, I thought to myself, is too good to be true. He swiftly responded with, “The same place as you.” I’ll never forget how I felt when he finally gained the courage to kiss me, in his brother’s basement, by the pool table or the preemptive anxiety leading up to that momentous first kiss. I’ll never forget the gentle way he secretly placed his hand on my knee while we sat in a restaurant booth, conversing with friends, and the way my hand instantaneously responded by covering his. I’ll never forget the liquid nerve it took for me to strip off all of my clothes and seduce him at his shower door, after he’d gone to wash up, and I’ll never forget how it felt when we carnally made love for the first time. I’ve never forgotten the way my head fit perfectly upon his chest, my ear effortlessly covering his heart as if to protect it; *so perfectly that I actually wrote a song about it, performing it live in Los Angeles, several times. The first time I laid my head on his chest, I’ll never forget how I felt when I said to him, “I like the sound of your heartbeat in my ear. It lets me know that you’re real.” And I’ll never forget how I felt after David confidently confessed, “I love you” only four days after we met and just hours before I had to board a red-eye flight back to the opposite side of the continent.
I am learning the hard way that, in life, nothing lasts forever but that doesn’t mean that the memories do not last. This doesn’t mean that the feeling is forgotten or that letting go results in forgetting. Letting go also doesn’t mean that one must forget nor does it mean one must be hard on him/herself for remembering. What there must always be is a balance – One can let go yet always evoke, for isn’t it our experiences that shape us as we move forward? I’ll never forget the feeling.
*Listen to “Don’t Wanna Miss a Beat” Unplugged – the song I wrote for David.