by Beau Burriola -
SGN Contributing Writer
From the first moment we met, we fell into an immediate heart comfort, wrapping around each other in perfect humor and a wondrous, effortless existence. For weeks we laughed about everything, we basked in the warmth and enjoyment of simple proximity to one another and our histories and the more we discovered, the more we explored. We met one another's friends and everyone approved. I could easily imagine years from now when our families would meet, or the trips we would take, or the birthdays we would celebrate - and I fell quickly into the certainty of that dream. Moments away from you were filled with daydreams about the songs I'd write about you and the look on your face when I'd sing them.
So big and enveloping was our start that we ignored the seemingly small problem of sex. After all, we thought, it must be one of those things that shouldn't be a problem eventually, least of all when the heart goes All In. But as effortlessly as our hearts were dancing a tango with the stars, our bodies were locked in an awkward one step, forced to dance one song too long. Each date put our hearts in deeper than our bodies were willing to go.
One morning, in the warmth of an embrace of hearts, barely touching one another, I faced the cold that was. For each dream of love there is a reality in sex and although the heart wants what the heart wants, you just can't force the body to follow.
What we had in common, more than anything else, was the people we knew. For weeks, we stumbled through our awkward jokes, clarified our misunderstandings and tried to inject warmth into our daily phone calls or text messages. Part of it was our different native languages and part of it was who we were, but in spite of our awkwardness, our attraction was obvious and electrifying, so we continued. When we hit the bed, the whole world became clear and the effortless dance was so powerful that I fell into your existence as deep as I could go.
The moments away from you were so vivid in my mind that my body stirred at the faintest memory of a touch or sound and I spent my time daydreaming about the next time. But while our bodies were training for the Sex Olympics, the time spent in between clunked on in a bizarre deadness. We remained strangers and never quite stepped toward becoming familiar.
So big and enveloping was our attraction that we ignored all of the time out of bed and each date put our bodies in deeper than our hearts were prepared to go.
So one evening, in the fading warmth of our bodies' embrace, I faced the cold that was. For every reality in sex there is a dream of love and although the body wants what the body wants, you can't force the heart to follow.
I used to believe that if you found someone you loved, the rest would just be easy. It was the magic thing that made someone different from everyone else and the manifestation of that love would be sex that would stitch your souls together like the love-quote embroidered pillow on your bed.
I also used to believe that if you found someone who electrified you with every touch and kiss, that the electricity would find its way into your soul and you'd fall so deeply into that person that who they were would become part of you and manifest itself into a love that would merge you into one another against all difference.
But none of that is true.
We are all of us more than one person. We are hearts and bodies and minds and souls and everyone we come across potentially brings something out in us. There are times we want so badly for everything to work out that we force everything else against all logic, even up until the very moment when we know our efforts will fail. Eventually, the neglected parts of ourselves always rebel and reality wins out, leaving us a little heartbroken and hopefully, wiser.
'I've tried to become someone else for a while, only to discover that he, too, was me.' - Poet Stephen Dunn
Beau Burriola is a thirty-something expat living in Belgium, rediscovering dating in a world of Different. firstname.lastname@example.org
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