I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where I do not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
~Pablo Neruda - my favorite Chilean poet
Eleven years ago, today, I met my Warren. I knew from the second I met him that he was the man I would be with for double infinity. In fact, I felt like I had known him before, maybe in previous lives. Here's how the story of my life began.
I was finishing my 3rd year at PSU, living on campus and driving regularly out to Hillsboro to visit my sister and only friend in Oregon. I had been out at my sister's house that Friday, June 9, 1998. We had worked out in her apartment gym, made a couple of drinks, and had chatted about our lives. Finally, I decided it was time to go home. As I pulled back into the PSU parking lot, I got out of my car and bent down to tie my shoes. Afterwards, I started to head towards my apartment when I suddenly felt a strong pull to go the other way. I turned around and walked towards the Ione Lounge across the street. What was I doing? I was going to go get a drink. But wait, I couldn't go into a bar alone, or could I?
However, the force that was pushing me was not to be reckoned with so I entered the bar and ordered a drink. As I sat at the bar, realizing I was a complete idiot for coming in here alone, I decided to down my drink and get the heck outta there. Just as I was about to do so, I heard a voice say my name. I turned around and it was Marty - another student co-worker on campus. He was excited to see me because he was graduating tomorrow and his cousins from California had just gotten into town. In fact, they were here and he wanted me to meet them. I told him I was just leaving, but in true Marty fashion, he ignored my plea and grabbed my drink, urging me to follow him. Well, shit, I'd get this over with so I could go home.
Once we reached the pool tables, Marty handed me my drink and introduced me to David who was playing video lottery. David quickly turned around and waved a hello. Then Marty interrupted a pool game to introduce me to Warren. That was when my whole universe shifted. Warren turned around to greet me and shake my hand. I was immediately entranced with his smile, his aura, his vibe, his eyes and unbelievably his heart.
Right away we began talking. Marty left to take his wife Chris home while we continued to talk. Warren says that day was the only day in his life that he ever discontinued a game of pool. When Marty came back, we decided we'd all go out for a midnight breakfast but the cafe next door was closed. Very, very reluctantly, we said goodbye to eachother. I walked home feeling flushed, alive and wondering how I was going to find Warren the next day because I knew he was in town until Sunday and he was staying at Marty's apartment on campus.
The next day was graduation day. I arose early and walked all over campus hoping to 'run into' Warren. No such luck. Later that evening, I attended a graduation party in the building where Marty resided. Urgently, I kept running downstairs to see if I would see him walking by. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Warren actually did walk by! My heart pounded as he walked up to me, recognizing me from the night before. We talked for a bit as he was with Marty and others. Then he said he'd be at the Ione later that night and I said I'd meet him there later.
I resumed hanging with my friends, helping prepare an exotic Iranian meal that was taking way too long to cook. Finally, after an unbearable wait, I was able to get away around midnight. I ran and ran the two blocks to the Ione. What if he wasn't there? I was so late. As luck would have it, he was there. Apparently, everyone had been wanting to leave for some time but he had urged everyone to stick around just a little bit longer. When I got there, he made introductions and everyone left to go to bed.
Warren and I left together and bought some beer. We sat on campus and drank beer, smoked cigarettes and talked for hours. It was so easy to talk to him. His smile made me at ease and the way he opened his heart when he spoke to me, I could not help but think I was falling in love with this man. Eventually, he walked me back to my apartment where he asked for my phone number. Of course I didn't have a pen so I invited him in (imagine that!). In my apartment, I played all my favorite blues CD's while we talked about our lives, our past loves, our families, our dreams, our friends, and everything under the sun. Well, we didn't exchange numbers until 3 hours later in the wee hours of the morning when we decided we had better call it a night. Everything in me wanted to kiss him but instead we wrapped our arms around eachother and said goodnight.
He flew back to California later that morning but we ended up talking on the phone to eachother that evening. I called my mom to inform her that I had met the man I was going to marry. I met up with my sister the next day to share the details of this man that had stoned me down to my soul. It was like our lives were two trains that ran parallel but had finally intersected and become one.
So to make this long, long story short, after a brief visit in July, months of phone calls and emails to eachother, dealing with my phone being turned off for lack of payment of the high bill, Warren moved up here later that fall. As we hopped on the love train together, the wheels of life began to turn and we held hands knowing that from here on out, our journey in life to various destinations would not be alone. Knowing and loving this beautiful man has stoned me to my soul.