One morning, I’m going to wake up and look at you and say we should go board a train to anywhere. To everywhere. I hope you’re ready. I want to travel, go across the country, stop off at random cities, point to the next one we should visit blindly on the map as we’re drowning diner food in sticky syrup in Wherever, USA. I want to be a tourist with you, and discover all the sort of cheesy, wonderful things these small towns are proud of, the little crevices and fields and mom ‘n pop shops that maybe the rest of the country will never discover. They will just be ours. I want to claim untold acres with you.
I’m going to want to stay out until closing time. Let’s do it a few times, when it’s just you and me and the bartender, and we all bond over the makeshift iPod stereo and slow dance to songs that should never be slow danced to, but we’re a little fuzzy and a little buzzed and a lot happy, so it won’t matter. We’ll each take turns telling the bartender — this stranger who’s now our third best friend — all the really endearingly embarrassing things about each other. And when we finally have to go, we’ll lean up against each other as we walk, and maybe it’ll start raining, but we won’t mind. Maybe I’ll scream a little, or we’ll bemoan our shit luck, but at the end of it all, we’ll dry off and our clothes will be fine and our hair will ruin the pillows but you can’t water-log nights when you’re in love.
I want to be nervous about meeting your parents. I want to freak out about what I’m going to wear, and I won’t tell you that I’ve done any of this, but rather you’ll find out one way or another, either because my friend told you or because I was running late or because maybe you just knew, but I will want to make a good impression. Who doesn’t? To be respected by the people who matter to you is going to matter to me, so I’ll be nervous and on my best behavior until the very moment when I say one thing out of line and I’ll think everything’s shot to hell, but maybe they’ll counter my poor joke to reciprocate and let me know everything’s okay. I’m not so worried about you meeting my parents. Is that strange? I already know you’d fit right in.
I want to sleep in on lazy weekend mornings, and not quite forget that I’ve slept over at your place, but still have that little moment of recognition where I think to myself, god, how lucky, and maybe I won’t wake you, or maybe I will because I’m a jackass when I haven’t had coffee, so we’ll order delivery and take it straight back to bed, ignoring brunch invites and next-morning texts from friends who are piecing their lives back together. All we’ll have is each other. All we’ll want is each other.
I want to get a tattoo with you — not of your name or anything— and certainly not the same tattoo (there is only so much I can stand for sentimentality, which will seem like the most hypocritical statement of the century, I realize). I want you to remind me of this some day, when I go on a tirade and you tell me that really, I’m not so different from everyone else and a little bit of cheesiness never hurt anyone, but gave our hearts a little bit more to long for. I want to sit there in the chair, maybe with you watching, maybe wincing for me, maybe holding my hand during the tough parts, and I want you to examine it later when it’s just us two alone and it’s less red and raw and tender. Because you’ll be under my skin at that point, you’ll have been a part of me, even if it’s a tattoo that has nothing to do with you, but the fact that you’re there in my memories of it means that it’s marked on you and on my mind forever.
I want to do a lot of things with you. There will be the things that you’re going to want to resist because we’ll still be intrinsically different people, though no less fundamentally aligned. I want to fight with you and feel like maybe we’re going in different directions, and I want to remember that we’re going to have to work at coming back together, and choosing the same path together.
And I want to do the things that we decide on together, because the world is wide and full of possibility and you can never really have your heart set on something that is hung on so many “what ifs.” But I want to remember that the “what ifs” are still possible — just because you don’t know doesn’t mean they won’t happen — and I want to return to the quiet mornings when we lay in bed and build a fort of pillows and sheets and each other’s bodies and BLTs that keeps us from the rest of the world, if only for a few hours. Because every once in a while, I’m going to want to remember that no matter what we wind up doing, it’s the fact that we’re doing it that matters.