2002-11-23 - 8:56 p.m.

The amazing thing about highways is that even if you take the wrong one, even if you accidentally end up going the wrong direction, as long as you donít give up and go back home you can always find a way, a vein of road, that will take you where you need to be.

Last night I took a wrong turn out of Grand Rapids. Going to see E. at his parents in Muskegon and I, with glazed eyes from copious amounts of cough syrup and the exhaustion of many sleepless nights over the past few weeks, took the wrong highway. I knew the second that I did it that it was wrong, but I somehow talked myself into believing that I was right, talked myself out of second guessing myself. And I just drove. Drove and drove until I finally gave into the nagging feeling that I was on the wrong highway and called E. All I wanted to do was just turn around, go home, try again another time. But I just couldnít do that. I needed to see him, and more, I needed him to see that I was willing to break out of my hermit life and share in his world. I really, really needed to do that. I needed to make that effort, I needed to overcome the hermit voice inside me that was fighting my emotions every step of the way. The voice that kept telling me that I am better off alone, that I need to make some space between E. and myself because I am falling too hard and risk losing the fast grip I have on my solitude. So, I turned up my stereo, found that grey, twisting vein, the right one, the long one, that would lead me into his arms eventually and I followed it.

We spent the evening with his friends and family. First sitting in front of a roaring fire with his parents and his aunt and uncle drinking wine and snacking on pomegranate and apples while chatting. It was comfortable. While the fire warmed my skin I felt my heart sink further and further into its loud, comfortable thud against my chest. I felt my blood coming closer to the surface of my skin, not because of the fire, but because I began to feel that uncontrolled desire to pull every essence of myself closer to E. Even my blood was being pulled by the magnet of him. Then we went to his friends house. I found myself, when confronted with the cold air of the outside, with my blood retreating back into the dark spaces it occupies, that tangled old hand of my hermit self reached out and took the opportunity to reclaim my heart. It grasped ferociously until I found myself building walls again, quickly setting up space between he and I. I found myself sitting rigid, slightly uncomfortable, slightly irritated, just wanting to go home. I scare myself when I become like that, when I become rigid, strong. It is a discernable difference, even the skin on my arm feels different when I get like that. I am no longer soft and accessible, I am cold and hard. And I canít chase it off easily. I know it is defense. I know itís that old cliche thing, the...if I just maintain distance, if I donít let myself get too wrapped up in this I canít get hurt....but that is ridiculous. Not only do I have no doubt that he is as helplessly in love with me as I am him (okay, so maybe not as maniacally as I am, but I know that he is in love with me), but I also know that if I just allow myself to act like a normal freaking person this will be the most wonderful romance ever written. If I keep the stupid ass mental moments out of this, if I stop acting like a moron, our love, our lives together, will be the strongest and most enviable of any love ever. He and I are perfect for one another. Perfect. I know this. Perfect, perfect, perfect, as long as we can get over the hurdle of living 4,000 miles apart and the hurdle of my extreme solitude against his extreme opposite of solitude. I can do this. I will do this. I have to because I can no longer see my life without him.

Last night as we got ready to sleep, in the dark basement of his parents house, I found myself gathering my blankets on the opposite end of the couch, nestling into my own little corner. But as is always the case, I can only remain in that solitary state but a moment before I need to touch him, before I have to crawl across the crevice I tried to create between us and nestle against him. We slept all night in a tight embrace. Forgetting that there were vast open spaces of couch for us to sleep on without being scrunched into one another. We slept as one person last night and it was the most peaceful and wonderful sleep I have ever had. I woke this morning, finding myself still wrapped in his arms, my cheek pressed into his chest, my legs wrapped through his. And I found absolutely no trace of my solitude lingering, no voice telling me to create space. Nothing. Over night my mind and my body melded into him, finally gave into the need and just seeped within him. I used to say that I needed my own bedroom if I ever lived with anyone, that even if we slept together it would have to be on a king sized bed because I like my space. Today when I got home I looked at my king sized bed, my wonderful bed that I adore, and wished for the first time that it was much, much smaller because I want no more of that space between us any more. I want to sleep every night that I can pressed into his skin, I want to wake up with the realization that all those lonely, wrong roads I might have taken in the past, those grey patches of lifeís highway that made me into the slightly jaded and scared person that I am, eventually converge onto the right road. Those wrong roads will always somehow merge with the right vein of road that leads me straight into his arms. As long as I donít just turn around and go home.


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