This is kind of awkward, you guys. I feel like we’re going to get extremely personal in short order. Because, like dating, writing is rife with intimacy. It’s kind of the whole point.
I am better at the latter. My first husband¹ fell in love with my words: we exchanged letters overseas, written on paper and sent snailing though the mail, twice a month, then every week. We carried on like this for a year and a half, exchanging bad jokes and mundane observations, dream interpretations, and something about the tomatoes in Greece². When I returned home, we moved in together and married in short order. For a time, our words were magic.
In contrast, the entirety of my dating history is an unqualified disaster, threaded, as it is, inextricably with early alcoholism. I threw up on shoes, you guys. There was nothing pretty about it.
Distance matters. Keyboards and paint cans are infinitely easier than the complex humans and their soft, mortal bodies. And if I have some trepidation about all of this sharing without the cloak of anonymity, I have also promised my words that I will give them a space to take flight. Not all of them will do so: some will fail comically (you can skip over those ones), and others will never leave the nest of my throat. But I will have made space.
¹ Also only husband so far. Poetic licence, you guys. Poetic licence.
² Why are they so much tastier in Greece? Which deity is in charge of tomatoes, and are they accepting new devotees? Isn’t it a little unfair that Greece gets to be the birthplace of Western Civilization AND the capital of supernaturally delicious Solanum lycopersicum?