You were in rare form that night. And for two minutes and 37 seconds, I saw you.
See, I’ve seen you at least four dozen times. Crawled under your comforter. Used my fingertips as brushes and painted broad strokes on your back. Asked you the best way to negotiate a salary. Sat on your couch and watched YouTube videos. Mixed jack with ginger and benefits with friendship. Wished you a Happy Birthday and texted you Merry Christmas.
Oh, I have seen you. And up until that moment, I always just assumed I knew you. Because isn’t that how it works? We know people for years, so we must know them. We laugh with them and drink with them and call them up for advice. We start to equate years with knowledge. We start to connect dots of familiarity with other dots of assumption until we decide that we’ve completed the sketch.
Except I didn’t know you. I did not know you until we stood there in the wee hours of the morning, clothed in a lack of inhibition and not much else. I didn’t know you until those two minutes and 37 seconds when you looked at me and clawed your guard down. Told me your story. Revealed your humanity. Undressed your masculinity. Unveiled your scars.
I did not know you until then. All these years and I did not know you until then.
I want another two minutes and 37 seconds. And another. And another. See, I think I could want a lifetime of two minutes and 37 seconds. I want more stories we never told blended with sins we always commit. Maybe that’s what I never knew–that I wanted more. Maybe that’s what’s been hiding underneath my layers for all these years. You clawed your guard down. So here I am, clawing mine down too. Except I am the cowardly lion, roaring my truth and knowing you’ll never hear it.
Something tells me that I will not get another two minutes and 37 seconds. These years will pass. Time and adulthood and sheer distance will pull us apart. I will fall in love or you will fall in love, but not with one another. We will move on. Things will change. We’ll outgrow the invincibility of our twenties. The hunger of our twenties. The we-fall-hard-and-pretend-we-don’t-give-a-fuck recklessness of our twenties.
But, for now, we have those two minutes and 37 seconds. I know I won’t forget them. I hope you don’t regret them.