on sleeping next to someone.

"are you bad at sharing the bed?" I said
"no, well ... I don't think so."
"okay." I said, and crawled under the covers. He rolled onto his back and left his arm across the pillow and I tucked into the space.

In the morning our feet found each other. He slipped his arm under me, in the the dip just beneath my rib cage, and pulled me into him. He kissed my shoulder. It was sweet and good, the warmth of him there. It was too comfortable to be about us. I found myself in the quiet routine of two people who'd had more than a night.

It was practiced, it was right.
I could feel who'd ever been there before.

He asked me how he'd slept, and earnestly then, what makes a man bad at sharing the bed. I told him inexperience. 

I once ended things with a man I liked very much, and what it came down to was the bed. All night he'd moved me around, just trying his best to do the thing he was supposed to do but never actually sleeping. He wanted to, but he didn't know how. He'd never gone to sleep next to someone night after night, for years. 

At twenty seven, we've had time to live out entire little lives with the people who we've loved. Multiple of them, even. I had one in Portland. I had one in Massachusetts. And they ended. But I know now, I know how to sleep next to someone and what to do in those morning hours when two people flicker between sleeping and waking.

I want a man who has learned how to hold a women, before he gets to me. 
Even if it's only for a few hours. 
A man who can make it feel like love. 
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what 10 years taught me.


On The Event of The 10 Year Reunion 

At 18, I had some pretty big dreams. I think we all did then. And, there was a clear next step for how to get there. We wouldn’t feel those well now what? feelings until 4 years later, until the next graduation – until the world unleashed us into a job market decimated by a financial crisis (thanks for that.) Until we realized that you can do everything right, do all the things your english composition teacher set out for you to do, and still come up empty handed. Even if it was only for a little while, it shakes a person. I know it shook me. I don’t know if I’ll ever lose the deep need I feel for stability, the sense of urgency I feel to snatch every opportunity, and a weird kind of conservatism that makes me stay in just-alright situations a little longer than I need to or probably should. Somewhere deep inside me there is a nagging fear that there might not be something else.

As it turns out .... real life, grown up, adult life is hard. Like, really hard. The big stuff. Rent is too damn high. Marriage is a continual recommitment (and being single in the era of Tinder sucks.) As they grow older, we have to start parenting our parents. People we love start to die. 

There are a lot of pieces to be a functioning adult that are so obvious, but I never realized would be so impossibly hard. Finding a place to live, finding a partner, finding time to get your teeth cleaned. 

But what I really didn’t expect is that it would take a super human level of energy and tenacity just to get through the day. To do the tiny, life sustaining stuff. Like cooking dinner. Like making it to the post office in time to mail bills. 

And the trouble is … this work is invisible. We don’t ever see it. We don’t ever give ourselves credit for it. And we rarely applaud each other for it either. 

There is no bridal shower or promotion party or Pulitzer Prize for doing the laundry. 

Lately when someone accomplishes something really big – when they write a book or have a baby – I can’t help but be filled with wonder. Not just because it’s a tremendous accomplishment. But because they managed to do that on top of the endless list of daily a banalities we all face. Like: you wrote a book and you picked up your birth control prescription?! Just, wow. 

So here we are 10 years later, and I’d like to ask everyone to treat each other and to treat ourselves more gently – the way you would something that is fragile and necessary. Because the way we all keep getting up everyday, and keep making a go of this life, it's amazing. It’s an accomplishment that takes everything we’ve got. 
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Capote | on belonging to eachother


"I'm very scared, buster. Yes, at last. Because it could go on forever. Not knowing whats yours until you throw it away." 

Truman Capote,  Breakfast at Tiffany's p. 109

(photo) on ilford b+w with Hasselblad | Portland's Rose Test Garden
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weekend song | The Tree By The River

Iron & Wine's Kiss Eachother Clean came out in 2011, when I was living in my studio apartment in Portland with Eli. We both loved that album; listened to it all the way through, nonstop, on Saturday mornings while I swept the checkered linoleum floors and he made coffee in the french press. It's one of the albums that feels so tied to a person, to a place -- to my life at 23.  I hadn't listened to it much since then. Not out of avoidance or anything. The songs just weren't living to me anymore. They were artifacts. 

I was sitting on the back porch last summer, while the man I'm dating now was inside playing guitar. The windows were open and the music came out. And, I recognized the song ... but just barely. It didn't sound anything like the boppy, upbeat version from the record. A song about two people who grow up and grow apart, and eventually into a different relationship. really, a different life. 
 
Time isn't kind or unkind you used to say, but I wonder to who.
and what it is you're saying today. 

It knocked the wind out of me. I thought of all the times we'd listened to that song and how I'd never really heard the words before. It sounded just like kind of agnostic thing Eli would say. For a flash of a moment, all the space that separated now from then collapsed in on itself. And all I could see was us there, in that apartment, listening to this song and not knowing (or maybe, always knowing) how we'd be strangers someday. 

How, eventually, we wouldn't even think about each other much anymore.  Except for after the occasional pang, from the sharp corner of the empty space.

(listen) Iron & Wine - Tree by the River (photo) on expired film | the alley along Mississippi Ave, 2011. 
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