53 Things I Need You To Know, Wherever You Are

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1. The power of music listened to on trains — that Fjögur Píanó, an old man with his paper, and the outbound red line can bring me to tears.

2. My love affair with Pride and Prejudice. That I have been reading it since I was nine years old, and have never allowed myself to reach the last page.

3. That I go for walks with nowhere to be.

4. Especially when it’s pouring.

5. That I need you not to question that I am a vegetarian in leather calf-high boots.

6. In fact, sometimes I just need you not to question.

7. That I need you to go exploring with me through eclectic towns in Vermont.

8. That chardonnay goes best with popcorn.

9. But my affinity for pale ale is uncontested.

10. That I love to wear my rain boots even though my toes get cold, just because I love the sound they make on the cobblestones.

11. I need you to know that my favorite flower changes every day.

12. That I need you to garden with me–to plant a thousand flowers in soil so rich that I’d never have to choose just one bouquet.

13. That I need you to wander the farmers’ market with me, just to see who can find the sweetest strawberry first.

14. That I was Wendy Davis for Halloween, even though you don’t know who she is.

15. That coconut gives me a stomachache but macaroons are still one of my favorite foods.

16. To know the first snowflakes of the season are like stars fallen.

17. That if you catch them in your mouth, you can taste your wishes.

18. That I recycle.

19. That I will always eat your Ben and Jerry’s out of the tub no matter how many flavors you buy to deter me.

20. That I won’t throw away my Birkenstocks until the soles have run clean through, no matter how dirty they get.

21. That I raised monarch butterflies as a child and named them all French Fry because the first time one hatched I was midway through a Happy Meal.

22. That Jess from New Girl is my spirit animal.

23. That I used to spend hours chasing the keys of a player piano before my fingers learned the notes.

24. That I’m still chasing those notes.

25. That I’d love to have a golden retriever one day.

26. That I believe in a God, but don’t know much else.

27. That I read a sign on the bus that said to “walk with purpose at night.”

28. So I wondered what my purpose was all night.

29. To know that the L.L. Bean catalog men have a George Clooney effect on me.

30. That I’ll wear your flannels to sleep.

31. That red lipstick makes me feel sexy.

32. But I laugh too much so it usually winds up on my teeth.

33. That I’m twenty and have laugh lines.

34. That when I was little I used to build houses for fairies in my backyard.

35. That you will not be allowed to make the coffee until several lessons have been held.

36. That I like to be alone sometimes.

37. That I will sometimes read trashy magazines, but only after I’ve read Time and The New York times cover-to-cover.

38. That I’m afraid of the dentist.

39. So I keep my teeth in tip-top shape.

40. That I hoard office supplies.

42. That I wear bifocals when no one is around.

43. That I like to think I can make a mean peanut butter cookie.

44. That I’m always a little bit chilly.

45. So I’ll always sleep with socks on.

46. That I will always love Ikea furniture.

47. And I’ll make you put it together when we get home.

48. That I knew where my parents hid the Christmas presents, but I never peeked.

49. That the thought of “you” makes me want to run barefoot through rainstorms,

as if somehow the clouds might contain the condensation of your city,

as if I could dance in the dewdrops evaporated from your sweating glass on a windowsill, wherever you are.

50. That at night I imagine I can count the street lamps from you, to me.

51. That I want to pluck them from the ground, one by one, like wildflowers, until I have a shimmering bouquet of softly petaled light.

52. That I want to hand them to you, become captured in the infinity of your irises, and say,

53. “I’m here now, love. It’s nice to meet you.” TC Mark

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