“And where was I before the day, that I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it every day, and I know, that I am the luckiest…”
– “The Luckiest” – Ben Folds
I would be nothing without her. That’s not hyperbole; just the only clear consensus I can start with when I consider the impact she has had on my life, and my entire essence as a human being. It’s clear that I don’t think I’ve accomplished much in my life, or with any of my so-called attempts at creating a career. But even those miniscule steps would be a figment of my imagination if it wasn’t for her, and recognizing the positive in my life– and ensuring that the woman who has done more for me than any person on the face of the earth knows just how incomparably awesome sauce she is– feels like a better use of my time than lamenting the negative.
In short: she is, bar none, the most incredible person I’ve ever encountered. She is a beam of ginger light, sent from the heavens, whose basking warmth made me believe in life again. I’m writing this about her, so I’ll be brief in my self-indulgent commentary, but before a certain fierce feminist showed up on my horizon? I had completely given up on my dreams. A life of mediocrity was certainly awaiting me after I moved back from California, and as I merely existed in a basement-level apartment– like some sort of goblin scaring away any and all creatures– here she came, leaping into my world with a perfect string of grand jetes.
She was glorious, in every sense of the word. She was beautiful, of course, a goddess with a smile that emits a rainbow, legitimately illuminates every room she enters, and makes me want to be a better man. When she emerged from the T stop for the first time, a record scratched in my mind, and the opening chords from “She’s Like a Rainbow” fluttered alongside the butterflies within. She strolled across the icy sidewalk in slow motion– the Rolling Stones blaring internally– and it was over; she had me right then and there.
She was a tall, elegant, graceful beauty, gliding through the Somerville 99 with the fluidity only a seasoned dancer possesses, and I was hooked. She’s that old redhead, all right, and her proclivity for throwing those good swift lefts to my jaw left me slack jawed. I was putty in her hands from the moment we met, and her dazzling array of freckles– which I could not be a bigger fan of, for the record– was far from her only hook in me.
I pursued her from the start, naturally, because there was something undeniably alluring about a purported female lizard (who’d evidently been Janet, dammit, in a stage production of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”). A multifaceted artist who displayed a capacity for intellectual wit on her sleeve had me hook, line, and sinker, and the further we schmoozed– and the deeper our all-encompassing conversations extended– the sooner I began to believe in something I’d given up on: hope.
How could someone so perfect be alive in the world, and yet after three-plus decades of life, I had no idea that person could even exist? I can’t say whether the concept of soulmates is legitimate or not, but the connection that instantly formed when we began talking was undeniable. Sparks don’t fly that naturally and easily, and bonds aren’t forged that seamlessly if the chemistry doesn’t align. As I got to know her beyond the initial fronts that attracted me so intensely, it became apparent that I was the luckiest person alive; not for finding her, but for the fact that she seemed to like me as much as I liked her.
Her intellect is staggeringly intimidating, and it’s daunting to go up against someone so well educated in everyday discussions. Her credentials are unquestioned– even if she doubts their validity from time to time– and she not only actually obtained her undergrad degree (anassa kata, people, amiright?), but is halfway through an M.B.A. that will skyrocket her to the stratosphere. How one woman can obtain such vast expertise in so many varied areas is baffling, but it certainly answers the question of whether any true renaissance women live and breath.
I’ve learned so much from her, first and foremost: if there’s a problem, it is ALWAYS the patriarchy. I’ve discovered that Mariska Hargitay is queen, and that Olivia Benson will never have a better partner than the departed Elliot Stabler. I’ve been enlightened on the greatness of owls, on the unquestioned badassness of the one and only Kathryn Hepburn, and the impeccable importance of city and state politics in relation to our civic duties. I’ve learned I’m even more of a wash-ashore wannabe than she is south of the Sagamore bridge, and about the unparalleled glory of ‘just five more minutes’ in bed.
And she’s taught me how to continue pursuit of a creative zen, and push through in the face of rejection, and frustration, and the many crappy obstacles we’re forced to encounter as we journey through life. I said it at the beginning, and I truly can not stress it highly enough: any and everything I may complete or (someday) accomplish as an artist and writer is attributable to her. She is the sole reason I left my old, unfulfilling career in human services, and is the muse that’s driven me to write more in the past 16 months than I wrote in the previous 16 years. The fact that she has chosen to cohabitate with me, and put her trust and faith in my ability to navigate a future together is crazy to consider, but sometimes the craziest concepts have the strongest basis in reality.
I love my girlfriend more than anything, or anyone, I can imagine knowing. My life has been leaps and bounds greater since she burst into my heart like the Kool-aid man through a wall, and I get goosebumps considering that the best is, truly, yet to come. Life is hard and can be pretty damn depressing, but when I wake up each morning, and see that winter hair on fire beside me (glowing with January embers, of course)? I know my heart burns there, too, and will blaze eternally.
Happy birthday to the most fabulous woman who’s ever graced my heart, and cheers to the next thirty five years together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!