Friday night, the Boy and I went out for dinner and a walk. He's lived in Philly for a few years without seeing much besides the college campus, so I took him on a bit of a tour, pointing out all my favourite spots to sit and people watch. I had to resist the urge to tell him stories about how I used to spend hours on end walking the city when I first got here - given that I'm technically supposed to be a native to this city - but it did bring back odd memories of being a scared boy-turned-girl looking for... I'm not sure what. Distraction, maybe. Peace of mind, security... stability. A way of looking at this "curse" to make me think it was going to be okay. Something just short of a "why" or a "how," because I knew I wasn't going to get that.
As we walked along, our conversation turned somewhat deep. He talked about his ambitions, his desire to travel, see the world, break out of his shell. I told him I never gave much thought to traveling...I'm a little set in my ways. I didn't dare explain that it was because only five years ago I changed my entire life right down to every cell in my body... that's not really something you talk about on a third date. I did tell him that distance had ruined a relationship for me before, and he added that he wouldn't even think of leaving Philly if he was seeing someone seriously.
I entwined my arm around his.
So there I was, on a cool July evening, dressed in heels and a maybe-too-light dress that lifted just a few inches in the breeze... with a low neckline that he would just have to glance sideways down at me to see all the way down... walking alongside a man, holding close, looking around at buildings but really just wanting to look at him.
I felt good. Not the L-word, per se, but a good kind of nervous and excited that I haven't been for a while, because I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere after dating around and being lonely for too long.
My mind slipped back to the way I was before I ever went to Maine - as it inevitably does from time to time - how I would've been uninterested in male companionship, how I was bad at finding female partners. How much I hated myself and just wished I could be different. And when I did become different, in a way I never anticipated, how quickly things started to change for me. And yes, it took a while to appreciate and even understand the ways it can be good, but right now, just being with someone, male or female, who wants to get to know you and spend time with you... that's a gift.
We can to a stop at a crosswalk, and I turned to him and smile. He smiled back. I wrapped my arms around the back of his neck and leaned in. He leaned over and kissed me. A chill went up my spine.
This is the why. It's not why it happened, but it's why I stopped being upset that it did. This feeling I never had before a few years ago. And while I know from experience that things like this can go away in the blink of an eye, for the moment, I'm feeling great.
I'm still trying to take it slow with him. I'm sure (since I haven't totally forgotten what it's like to be a guy) he'd jump into bed with me tonight if I asked, and part of me wants to do just that and skip the formalities, but I like this phase. Just freefalling into someone's world.
Well, maybe next week ;)