We spent the cold months of my first winter in Portland drinking a lot of boxed wine — the good stuff. We pushed furniture out of the way, plugged in the twinkle lights, and started a playlist with only songs that say “butt” “booty” or “ass” in them. We debated what it means when one is instructed to “drop it low like there’s money on the floor.” (We never came to an agreement.)
We watched Dawson’s Creek in its entirety (and agree that Joey made the right choice in picking Pacey).
She nursed me through strep throat with homemade elderberry tincture.
Reading to me aloud at the Oregon coast one afternoon, she introduced me to the magic of folk and fairy tales; she read aloud the original story of The Little Mermaid to me while I got my first tattoo.
She showed me that the balance between the sacred and the profane is not such a hard line to tow, that you can tell a lot about a person by whether or not they think the name Terry is funny.
“I didn’t expect you to answer,” she said when I answered the phone last night, “we usually have to play phone tag for like eight months.”
And then we talked for three hours, and we laughed so hard we cried. We now have an inside joke about used bra dispensaries.
There’s a natural invitational quality to some people; they energetically hold the door open for us, asking us to be really good to ourselves while simultaneously imprinting on us what it feels like to be well cared for. What I find, especially as I get older, is that there is a quality of spaciousness in these people that makes me want to draw near to them. I get closer to myself the nearer someone else is to themselves.
Also: the ability to detect one’s own bullshit and call ourselves on it is prime real estate for any relationship. It requires an inherent playfulness and candor — it means you can pee with the door open and invite one another into deeper spiritual maturity, just by showing up and being real.
These are the kinds of people I choose: the audaciously honest, the resilient, the kind and self-aware. People who make bonfires of their lives: glowing generously from the inside out, whose warmth draws the world in, and whose love sometimes takes the form of Beyoncé memes.