Back-posted from January 2019: Wow, what a trip down memory lane to read these old hand-written journal entries which I’ve hereby transcribed. Such tenderness there was: I wouldn’t write like this now, not with such adoring surrender. I’m glad I wrote so unselfconsciously about these sweet, innocent moments: I remind myself of Anne Frank.
I believe the matter can’t be helped. I saw an old acquaintance on Saint Patrick’s Day and I think that’s all it took to give me the flutters for him as he danced with me, let me on waltzes. He is an Irish dancer, too, with a big imagination and a musketeer goatee and he does a hilarious Kermit the Frog voice impression. He charms my heart. He has pretty, long dark-blonde hair down his back, died with streaks of pink and purple. When I was reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets to him he stood riveted, looking into my eyes as if here were melting with a devilish smile, and said “I could listen to you recite Shakespeare all day.” And when we were waltzing he said, “We’re totally waltzing! This is great!” He has a big imagination.
When I got home I sent him a message saying thanks and joy and praise, and how kind of him to suggest I come to a Shakespeare play in Berkeley this Tuesday, hope to see you there! Well he hasn’t responded, and of course I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear something, anything from him! O, the suspense! O, the anticipation. I called my dear friend to gush like we females need to, and told her my dilemma, and her my dilemma about the absence of his response. “Don’t worry about it,” she says. “Women tend to overanalyze communication and men tend to underanalyze it.” that was actually quite reassuring. I showed her his picture and she smiled and approved of his charm.
Yesterevening I decided, what the heck, I am turning 21 in one month! I could either whine like a baby that nobody loves me and nobody’s throwing me a party, or I could get off my pity pony and throw myself one and see who comes. So I invited a hundred and twenty nine people, half of whom don’t even live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Of the half that do live here only half of them would probably even consider coming. That brings it down to a possible eighty at tops. Half of them will say they’re interested but probably won’t make it, which means I’ll be lucky if even ten to fifteen show up; that’ll be a big crowd. Well, I went ahead and announced the event. I didn’t expect anyone to RSVP soon, so after posting it I went to bed late, about midnight, and woke up at 4am with thoughts racing, half joy, half fear. I wanted to read Mary’s Magnificat, I wanted to sing Morten Lauridsen’s Agnus Dei, Lux Aeterna if I could, for I had awoken at this time feeling like something joyful and wonderful had happened in the universe, or was about to happen. the feeling was distinct: that blessings abounded upon me and happiness in a tangible form was near. Though I fought anxious fear, I had the sense that a triumph had taken place, that my soul was so intensely awake, so alive, so fervent a present in my life, my body, my reality.
Well I was still mighty tired no less so I managed to go back to sleep, only to wake up at 7:15 so excited I couldn’t wait any longer. Maybe he responded now…
And he did! Not a message, but he sure RSVP’d to my birthday, the first and only one last I knew, and it didn’t take him long! Perhaps his response was casual and off-handed and impersonal, or it could’ve been personal and purposeful. Cannot say: I must wait and see if he comes to Shakespeare on Tuesday.
My point I really mean to make in writing all this is one of an authentic, legitimate excitement, and anticipation wholly true in its giddying, nerve-wrecking importance to me. It’s been absolutely just like I remember Christmas as a kid; though my mom was an atheist, the magic to me was no less. In a word, a child’s excitement over Christmas goes like this: in the long, quiet dark of the night there is something absolutely wonderful happening, some very good change taking place, something exceedingly precious will be given to us if we only find the self-control to close our eyes in the long unknowing. And when we wake up early in the morning, still quiet, God will have been born and there will be gifts under a sparkling, enchanted tree. Few things seem to compare to this joy, though now Christmas (or any holiday, for that matter) does not anymore entrance me in quite the same way. I miss this. I hope that when I am baptized and confirmed and receive my first communion a week after my 21st birthday, on Easter, this feeling will be new again.
It’s hard for me to separate emotions and spirituality, and I don’t think I should try, because these should be emotional joys. Why should that be thought of as wrong? What if we, if I, could somehow find the ecstatic joy in the yearly birth and resurrection of Christ that so naturally comes through the delight of a crush? This love I feel, this longing for him: how close to God it brings me.
Photo by Chloe Si on Unsplash