Wednesday, July 6, 2011

skinny love

no more ambiguity.

here's a retelling of a love story.
it will be long.
trust me when i say that it will be exhausting for me.
but it needs to be told.

adam and i met on the train in dc.
i moved my bag over to make room for oncoming passengers.
adam sat next to me.
he was wearing a top hat.
i was slouching and pretending to tap dance in my converse.
just in my own world.

the first words he ever spoke to me were:
"long day, huh?"

he told me he was an actor in a dinner theater production.
i told him i loved his name,
and that i was in town to visit my grandparents and old friends.
he loved my multicolored fingernails.
i wondered why on earth he was still wearing his top hat.

truthfully i couldn't hear half of the things he was saying.
later he would tell me it was because he was so nervous.

he asked me what stop i was getting off.
i told him, and asked the same question.

he told me he was supposed to get off 5 stops ago.

he gave me his number.
i brushed it off.
later he would tell me that he waited an agonizing 4 days wondering, waiting for me to call him, talking about me to his friends, dreaming about the girl from the train. 

then when i was waiting at the airport to go home, i decided to text him.
i can't really remember why,
but i did. 

weeks went by.
these weeks were filled with me ignoring multiple phone calls and voice messages from adam saying how much he wanted to talk to me, how he couldn't stop thinking about me.

i thought it was creepy.
he was very passionate.

finally i answered the phone.
i really didn't like the guy.
what did he want? why was he doing this?
why me?

but i talked. i gave him a little chance.
still couldn't stand him.
but everyone has something to offer.

the night things turned for me was the night i was very sick, lying alone on a friend's bedroom floor crying with no way to get home. he stayed on the phone with me until 4 am calming me down, giving me directions on how to feel better.
this man was legit.

months went by.
we talked every day.
he told me he loved me.
prematurely, but he did say it.

i said i didn't love him back.
he said "it's okay.
i will wait forever."

then came the day where this guy hopped a plane, never having been in an airport in his life, never been to utah, never met anyone in my family.
taking a chance. 
he stayed here for 8 days.
i was still unsure about this guy.
in fact, for the first day or so, i didn't even want to make eye contact.
but when everyone met him they said
"ayley you're crazy. he's perfect for you."

he didn't kiss me. didn't touch me.
later he would say that he didn't want to overstep boundaries. didn't want me to think that he had ulterior motives.

he was careful. sweet. caring. kind. hilarious. selfless.
he was always looking at me.
always watching every move i made.
always lowering his voice to talk to me.
always making me so safe,
never wanting anything from me.

he just wanted me to be happy.

it got big when he left.
it was hard.
i had no idea it would be that hard.
i was so confused with what was going on inside of me.

so i didn't fight it.
i surrendered.
i started falling for him.

we quickly planned the next visit.

in this next visit,
we went on a lot of walks.
we kissed for the first time on a park bench.
we fell asleep holding hands on my bedroom floor.

i remember in the summer of 2009,
when i visited him in dc,
everyone i knew told me i had never looked happier.
i hadn't.
i hadn't ever been that happy.
just truly blissful.
actually this post was written after a night in georgetown with adam.

i had always had reservations.
he was socially awkward. he was too dedicated. he was too old fashioned. he wasn't in school anymore. i didn't like his friends. whatever i could come up with, it became a reservation.

these doubts were always overshadowed by the good.

i remember one night i was reading my patriarchal blessing over again.

suddenly my whole future with adam flashed before me.

i saw grey hair, my pregnant belly, picket fences, sneaking out in the yard after the kids go to bed, church callings, broken down cars, family nights around the record player, holding everything together with love.
suddenly my life wasn't just for me anymore.

i started crying.
not 30 seconds into this moment,
adam called me on the phone.
he had no idea what had just happened to me.
his voice, his ideas, his everything just changed.
i was in love with adam reid.

the first time i told him was in a TEXT MESSAGE. what a dolt, right?? he will never let me live it down. 

about three years later,
he is here in utah. for good.
baptized as a member of the church about 8 months ago.
for me.

a big change.
and here we are.
not together.

adam is someone who knows all of my secrets.
he has seen me at my very worst.
he makes fun of my farts and how clumsy i can be.
he {apparently} only wants to talk about me with his friends.
i was his world.

i can hear in his voice exactly what he is feeling.
i adore his laugh.
i never want to do anything without him... movies, concerts, any event. i want him there.
i love his crooked bottom teeth.
i love having pizza wars with him.
i love being able to go limp randomly and yelling "rag doll" and knowing he will catch me, and then laughing our heads off.
i love the way his clothes smell.

at first having him here was amazing.

it's just been hard.
so sososoosoooooo hard.

something changed.
maybe something in me changed.
maybe in him.

we don't know.

suddenly we were fighting.
suddenly flaws were out on the table.
we were keeping score.

i don't even remember what happened.
i can't find a spot in time where things changed.
it was slow.

something just... stopped.
i think the most painful thing is not knowing what happened.
was the timing wrong?
is one of us going through something internal?

this relationship is full of salt.
salt adds so much to the culinary world.
it melts ice.
in a bath it soothes aching muscles.
it scrubs away impurities.
it heals sore throats.

it helps to heal wounds
but the pain it brings to open wounds is incredible.
it makes fields infertile.
it kills snails. 

this relationship is salt.

when i hug him i still feel it.
i still love him,
being together is just hard.

we've had spurts of ignoring each other for weeks at a time,
taking breaks,
feeling like the old days,

then it just goes sour.

that vision runs through my mind every single day.

yesterday in the middle of a shopping trip together,
adam walked in front of me and just pulled me into him as hard as he could,
"what happened to us?"

i sat there, face pressed into his chest.
i finally replied,
"i dont know."

and we were silent.

that moment will stay with me for my entire life. 
it broke my heart.

there's so much to say.

it's been a lot of confusion lately.

i want to surprise him, do things for him,
but then i remember we aren't together.
so i don't.

due to our history of arguing now,
members my family aren't big fans of our relationship.

due to his being lost in the world now,
my family wants me to date other people.

when i go out with any other guy my thoughts always drift to adam.

i want the adam i fell in love with.
i want the adam that made me just want to hand myself over.
i want the adam that would lift me up onto the counter top just to kiss me.
i want the tears, the laughter, the heartache.
i want it all with him.

now i'll take anything.
i want advice, a shoulder to lean on... i want answers. i want anyone and everyone to talk to.

he's here, but in a different way.

i don't want this love,
wasting away to skin and bones.

i want what we had.
i want this again.

i don't know how to get it back.


  1. i cried reading this.
    and i can listen if you'd like to talk.
    i feel like i shouldn't say i loved this because of the pain, but it's rawness and emotion just got me, and i do. i love this.

  2. love is so interesting that way. a conscious daily decision. not just a magical feeling.

    and that's what perfection is. the ability to love without reservation, all selfishness and insecurities aside. love never receives enough credit. it's an action (a gut wrenching, blood curdling, painful, wonderful action), not an emotion...

  3. i also cried reading this. and i'd just like to echo what has been said above because i couldn't say it any better.


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