2019 has been a painful year in all the right ways. Growth, evolution, enlightenment should be painful. It should hurt shredding layers of pessimistic resin & rediscovering who I am. The layers are the “years” with a “L.” The “L” being the losses I took throughout the years, not loving myself. I tend to be a person that has more people that want to be my friend than I have actual friends. That’s on me. I’ve built so many walls up for my protection, with the cement of alcohol, that I’ve closed myself off. As the escalator of time inches me closer to 2020, I’m deciding that I may finally accept that friend request from myself. Start with me, progress from there. With a story about a girl, this experience is present to present. What a gift it is to be alive.

It was 2016 when I met her. Unaware of who she would be, the closest her, I have ever met. It was my second day in Syracuse at my second open mic. She peaked my curiosity to record heights as I kept my thoughts & feelings on the down low. For she had a girlfriend. This gave me no need to advertise my affection. Granting me the permission to eliminate my billboards & be myself. It was effortless to share time. Whether it was a conversation, a cigarette, a drink, a bowl, a bump, or by a fire. For four months, I quietly savored every opportunity to exchange my energy for her shared time. How fortunate I was to have a person fill me with opTIMism at just the mere thought of her. As it developed stronger & stronger my unsaid crush remarked, “What a gift it is to be alive at the same time.”

After those four months, I moved back to NYC. I didn’t talk to her as much as I talked about her. We just exchanged sporadic greetings & compliments on what seemed like happier lives. Messages that never developed into the shared time experienced in Syracuse. A year or so passes, as time slips away, my Facebook feed displays the she’s seeing… a guy. A possibility ignored. Instantly, all those scenes of shared time are flooded with the realizations of missed opportunities. All these memories now have an onramp of regret. Advantages I never seized. Miss-takes never taken. A lesson heard. A crush, unsaid. Remembering, what a gift it is to be alive.

As time steps closer to a year & a half later, sporadic greetings became more frequent. Short lived exchanges, that never develop into shared time. I wouldn’t allow them to. What would I say? That moments throughout a day are seasoned with thoughts of her? That every other girl loses in comparison? My unsaid crush has no words, other than, “What a gift it is to be alive at the same time.” Out of the blue, I receive a message about a dream she had of me. It was pretty epic. I took it as a nice fantasy, far from this reality. I found it difficult to ignore the fact, that it is wondrous to dream. A few daze later she graces me with a greeting. I indulge in this exchange with a question, “Outta curiosity, why do you contact me? No wrong answer.”

“Because I think of you.” 
“Or bc I want to.”
“Why don’t you contact me?” 
She marvelously replied.

My unsaid crush cleared it’s throat & finally spoke.

Our first phone conversation lasted three hours. I walked around Manhattan, ignoring the subway, while we communicated, meeting the sun as it awoke. Our shared time was an experience once again. Video chats & greetings of desire blessed me the next four weeks. Every interaction, was an adrenaline shot of an overwhelming being of pure happiness that I thought I would never experience without hallucinogens. She came to NYC for two days. It’s not that I thought it wasn’t happening, I was too consumed by cherishable moments that conquered me by breaking down some of my walls. Sitting on the subway, her legs over mine, her head resting on my shoulder, as her arm reached over to grab the other. Time & space ceased to exist, as all the odes & sonnets became comprehendible. Walking down the sidewalk, arms interlocked, her head on my shoulder, I never thought every single thing could be so right. The more I suppressed them, the more I noticed, my thoughts & feelings were ones I’ve never been acquainted with before. We have never been formally introduced, until now. What a gift it is to be alive.

When it comes to relationships, I’ve had a memorial for any expectations. Just a hope. As I’ve spent the last few years plotting out a burial for my heart that is too scared to love. I wrote her a letter, of my grandest thoughts & feelings, with the intention of, at least, having a broken heart than no heart at all.

I have no regrets as my please for affection look like pleas of desperation to everyone else. I’ve been told I’m intense. I don’t know any other way to be. I live in the present. Hence, I’m in-tense. I have an immense amount of passion I believe you’re supposed to take this energy and pass-i(t)-on. She’s my muse. She’s a why. It’s not like she gave me a reason to live but she’s given me a reason to not die. The album isn’t over but the song remains the same. She polished my inner beauty so I can shine for you. I wish it were more, even though it’s every thing I need. As I journey forward I have this story. I had this time. She’s forever changed me, unlocking codes to love myself again. She garnered me the strength to tear down my walls. What a gift it is to be alive at the same time.

Comedy, my most charismatic defense mechanism, my Tyler Durden. I didn’t discover you. You found me. Together we can inspire a generation. I hope at the end of my set I see the light, that’s inside of all of us. What a gift it is to be alive at the same time. This is something, now, I often think.