It will be a few months after the end of our getting-to-know-you, becoming-comfortable-with-each-other phase. I will discover some quirk about you that I had previously failed to notice. Like that you eat taco shells by themselves as a snack, or you refuse to acknowledge your place as an infinitesimal speck in a loving, omniscient, superconscious universe, about which you can become aware through meditation. Most likely it will be something small that causes the rift, something seemingly pointless. I’ll catch sight of the slightly browned bottom of one of your old socks. Something like that.
Either way, I’ll begin too cool.
You too will start to view me as more of a burden and less of a help as I move about your living quarters in the same white tee I’ve been wearing all weekend, begging for sex in a low voice. Remember when you told me that you enjoyed the slightly tangy scent of sweat on me after a workout? Well somehow I interpreted that to mean that it’s fine not to shower when I’m hanging out with you; you like my aroma. Also, I will have stopped working out. That flat belly you went gaga for at the beginning will begin to look like the warped outside of a melting vanilla candle rolled in hair. And no, I won’t take out the trash. This is your place. Do I ask you take out the trash when you’re at my place? Nope, because that’s my place, and besides, we never go there, because I never take out the trash.
The things that once meant so much to us, such as our compatible tastes in music and movies and the joy of introducing each other to the things that we love, like hummus (you) and bum fight videos (me) are no longer going to be enough to bear the weight of the increasing tension between us. What used to be pleasurable (a night at the movies followed by a midnight visit to the taco truck), will become tedious. God help us if the line to buy tickets is long and the girl in front of you happens to be wearing shoes similar to yours. I can’t hear it, even if you like them.
I can’t, not anymore, and I won’t.
And then I will put too much (or not enough) butter on the popcorn, and the rest of the night will be spent silently grinding our teeth, waiting for bed.
All the plans we made, all the ideas we had about what we wanted to be and how we were going to help each other get there, are going to be revealed for what they are: nice ideas without any actual potential to become real. You’ll remind me that I can still go back to school and become Detroit’s foremost divorce lawyer/self defense expert. I’ll mention casually that you can still lose 20 or 30 (or 40) pounds and teach that yoga on the beach class. You’ll complain that Detroit has no beaches. Neither of us will know for sure because we live in New Jersey, which has lots of beautiful beaches. I’ll wake you up in the middle of the night to ask you, when did I ever say I wanted to be a lawyer, and what does Detroit have to do with anything? You’ll admit that maybe you saw something on TV and got confused. This will lead to a larger issue: I’ve never told you anything of my dreams or goals.
But I did, babe, remember? I want to attain universal God-consciousness through medita—
You’ll cut me off and tell me that my dreams are stupid, or impossible, or both, or that they impose upon your Christian upbringing. I’ll apologize and say that maybe I want to get some kind of job—any kind of job—in one of those hipster companies where everyone wears flip-flops and the boss rides a bicycle towing a cooler filled with craft brew through the office, stopping at everyone’s cubicles to say hello. And maybe I want to backpack through foreign countries.
But by the time I tell you this, it will be too late. Neither of us will be able to imagine traveling long distances and being cramped in close quarters with the other person.
I love you, though. I love you so hard. And I remain optimistic that we can avoid all this if keep our hearts and minds focused squarely on the positive aspects of our relationship, and if we always remember to be gentle with each other’s feelings when we criticize each other, and when we work (and we will have to work) to keep our bond strong. There is no reason that we can’t have all the things we want, as long as we let all the little petty nonsense fall away at the end of each day.
And that should be easy, because look at what we have.