Roller Coaster, Of Course

Vic comes to the coffeehouse and says, “So, help me understand this. You’re having all these nice romantic experiences and you’re…worried about this?”

I give her a big hug and buy her a double latte.

Then I explain my over-thinking, how I’ve been trying to coach myself all day and have been getting better and better at it. I tell myself to chill out. To just take one day at a time. That it’s rare in relationships of all kinds to find two people at the same level of vulnerability and commitment in the same moment. That I don’t even know what any of this is, anyway. That what’s meant to be will be. That there’s no sense in all this worrying anyway and I can choose to put my mind to other things. Then I tell her I was hiding under the bed sheets but I’m better now. That I’m back on track with my MFA work and that I had a wham-pow-great conversation with my advisor this morning and I’m rearing to go.

Then Parker comes into the coffeehouse and I almost spill an entire pitcher of milk. That crisis averted, I forget a customer’s order, forget to introduce Vic to Parker, over-pour a gingerade, and sing out of nervousness. I seem to be the eternal elementary student, smitten and swooning, every ounce of my ability to focus gone down the tubes for long moments in time.

I give up and give in. Life’s too short to get so mentally entangled in each and every move that is made or not made. If I can just keep telling myself this, remembering my commitment to writing first and foremost, remembering how really what I was going for is a winter snuggle buddy with potential for long-term love, how not all love is cinema-quick-and-perfect, how it takes patience and work and vast oceans of uncertainty (in the form of minutes and days, hours and weeks, years and decades), and how I’m fine the way I am and somehow someone will be able to appreciate all my tenderness alongside all the rest that is me. Build it and they will come.

Hi. My name is Katey. Here I am.

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