Introducing my dear

my dear

This is the story of the only man I’ve ever loved in my admittedly young life.

 

 

Summertime Chi, aaaahhhhhh.

 

– JULY 3RD –

I watched him gawk around the beach and walk past me again. I set down my book on Marxist cultural critique that I had so been looking forward to reading when he strolled up. I imagined his impressed eyebrow raise at the title. I would casually mention how I worked with one of the contributors to Jacobin Magazine. Which wasn’t exactly true, but it was permissibly close to truth. Yet here he was, bending his neck around as if he wanted the whole beach to know he was searching for a woman he’d only be able to recognize from her three tinder profile pictures.

I had five very accurate and recent pictures on my tinder profile. I expected better. I texted him.

{take 10 steps to your left and look towards the water}

I watched him execute the 10 steps and still confusedly scan the beach. I was perhaps 12 feet in front of him, and his eyes cast the 40 feet to the water’s edge. I prepared myself for the worst.

{dont move. i’m coming to you}

 

– JULY 4TH –

A weathered-looking black man wearing a Cease Fire t-shirt approached me while I waited on the steps of the Art Institute. I’d watched other people, in groups and alone, scoff or ignore him. I had hoped he’d wander my way. We chatted for a while about his involvement in the organization, and I shared my disgust regarding the injustice of their funding cuts. During our conversation, I saw the face I’d been waiting for emerge from the crowd crossing Michigan Ave. We made eye contact quickly and I smiled, but returned dutifully to my conversation with the Cease Fire volunteer. My dear waited next to us patiently, nodding during the appropriate times in the conversation. I thanked the volunteer for his service, and my dear did as well, wishing him the best and a happy 4th.

Two beautifully mischievous toddlers ran about and squawked at each other as my dear spread a blanket across the grassy hilltop. It wasn’t Navy Pier, but we had decided we liked our little spot near the lake. The view of the fireworks would be just as clear.

I couldn’t contain my excitement about witnessing the toddlers’ antics. He watched me sweetly as I laughed. His gaze was narrowed and intense even when he was happy, more so when he was amused. When it bubbled up, his laugh was deeper than mine and resonated warmer. His laugh was throaty as if a old man smelling of tobacco and chuckling while sagely watching the folly of his babies’ babies.

Upon the first firework burst in the sky, every person on the tiny hilltop stood up.

I groaned, “But if we all sat, we’d all be more comfortable and able to see!”

My dear’s laugh bellowed, “Those words would only come from an organizer.” And so we sat, curled into each other just so and dangerously near to touching.

We talked about gun control and sushi. He kissed me at the bottom of the L station before we departed to our separate lines.

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