I can’t describe our love; I’m not very good at anything abstract. I could never prove anything in geometry, no matter how many theorems I was armed with. But I know how I fell in love with you, because there’s clear evidence for that. At least for me there is.
I fell in love with my senses.
Your scent is what got to me first. You smelled vaguely of shampoo; especially your beard. That is, until my scent started to linger on you, especially on your beard. And sometimes you smelled like onions simmering on the stove. You said you hated smelling like the food you cooked but it smelled like home to me. You were home to me, even then.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen you put on deodorant. Always hyperaware of your scent — terrified that someone would think you smelled bad. Fresh Blast, isn’t that it? Yes, that’s it. I remember because your parents bought you regular Fresh once and you gave it back. I thought of it once when I was at Target, so I stopped and looked for Fresh. It didn’t smell quite right.
It didn’t smell quite like you.
Warm. You had a warm touch. And me, I was perpetually freezing. My hands and feet were like ice cubes when I pressed them against you in bed. I sometimes wonder if that’s the kind of thing that made you fall in love with me — my utter inability to conserve body heat. Romantic, right? It must have been for me, since I fell in love with your space heater of a body.
And let’s not forget about your beard. That beard rubbed my face raw for months. I didn’t mind, but I did buy a lot of vitamin e oil to soothe my abused skin.
No single sound can adequately describe you. Except maybe your extraordinarily loud breathing just before you fall asleep. It kept me up so many nights. It still does. But how could I get mad at you for that? Especially when you do such sweet things when you’re awake.
Ella Fitzgerald. That’s our girl. Two weeks after we started dating, we were standing in your kitchen making dinner. Rather, I was watching you make dinner, when you said, “I’ll be right back.” I didn’t want you to leave. I was already starting to develop separation anxiety. But you came back. (You always do.) That day, you came back equipped with your computer and speakers. You started playing Ella and asked me to dance. You charmed me to pieces, and that was just the beginning.
I fall in love with you a little more every time I hear Ella. I just can’t help it.
I never could.
For all of your great qualities, you never could sleep through the night. But it gave you these adorable sleepy eyes. I fell in love with your sleepy eyes and your right bicep (the left is nice too, but the right is my favorite). You always got self-conscious when I asked you to flex it, but I wouldn’t stop asking.
I still do.
Taste is hardest for me to write about because you tasted different from one day to the next. Some days you tasted like the vegan hemp balm you wore. Other days there was the faintest taste of beer (a seasonal ale of some sort, probably). And off-brand Listerine.
You tasted like a brand name to me though.
I can taste you right now if I concentrate for a minute. Like summer and lemons and the freshest kale. And sunlight and warmth and everything worthwhile.