How we met.

How we met

Izzy and I are walking in the park.  She has just finished gutting the crap out of some pinecones and freshly sated from her daily dose of vegan cannibalism, we head home.

Him: Rumi?
I turn around, wondering who the hell is calling me because I never run into people I know in the park at this hour.
Me: Nic?  Wow…what are you doing here?  You’re back in Memphis?  I’m startled by his eyes, so clear and beautifully light hazel-green, playfully sparkling but staring into my soul.  Yikes, attraction just hit.  I might be in trouble.
Him: I saw Izzy and even though I haven’t seen her in years, I knew it had to be her.  And I knew where there’s an Izzy, a Rumi isn’t far away.

our first meeting

our first meeting

This little creature had been my permanent sidekick for nine years at that point.
It wasn’t lost on me that if she was enabling this reconnect, something significant might happen.


They say it happens when you’re not looking.
I wasn’t looking.  I was gloriously single, grateful to be free of the work and energy relationships require as I was planning my next destination move.  Izzy and I were busy making plans, thinking seriously about returning to NYC.  There was no desire, space or time for boy-like crap to be happening.  But he’d just moved from Brooklyn and friends are always good to have so yeah, let’s drink some beer sometime.


He pronounced my name Japanese-correctly, which hadn’t happened in years.
He knew things I didn’t.  So many things.
He was remarkably unpretentious for someone so smart.
And goofy, which makes me laugh.  And if you can make me laugh hard, my heart eases.

Then he started to like Izzy.
Damn it.

In the beginning, she irritated the crap out of him and this relieved me because as long as she annoyed him, there would be distance between us.  But little Izzy liked him back and they started to fucking hang out together and bike around town like this:


I find myself asking him to stay with her while I’m in Chicago.

And it dawns on me.

I trust him completely with her life.
Which means he possesses my heart.

random love

120 seconds

120 seconds

at a time is the best I can do sometimes.

The first time:
I’m on a bus in NYC, 19 years old, and why can’t I breathe normally all of a sudden?  Fuck, is this an asthma attack?  I haven’t had one of those in years and I feel so weirdly tingly, like I’m about to throw up.  I’m trapped.  I have a habit of eyeballing every exit upon entering a room.  I have to know where the bathrooms are as well.  But I’m on a bus.  And it’s crowded; god, there’s no negative space on which to focus.  It’s too busy around me; too many faces, limbs, too much air taken up, just too much.  I feel like my eyeballs are rolling in the back of my head and I might freak out.  I don’t want to freak out.  Look out the window, look at the street numbers.  Count.

5 blocks.
Hold on for five blocks.

I debate running out at every stop but I’m fucking paralyzed.  I can’t move.  My brain and body won’t fucking connect and I hate it.  I wring my hands together until my fingertips are red then white and my nails leave crescent-shaped dents on my hands from gripping tight, tighter and I don’t care if I break the skin.  If I can cause and focus on other physical pain, maybe it’ll trump this other shit that has suddenly taken over.

Three more blocks?  Eternity.  The weird numb feeling won’t go away.  I have a block in my throat and I don’t think I’m going to retch anymore because this tingly sensation is different and there’s no pre-puke hyper-salivation.  Just let me not lose it.

But I can’t get air.

I can’t swallow.  My heart’s in my throat.  My organs are choking me and I DON’T KNOW WHY.  Why is my body torturing me?  And then a memory file superfastforwards; lots of images, like worst thing that ever happened to me images flash by.  I tell myself that another part of my brain is trying to help me, like:

you got through those events so this should be ok.  you’ve made it so far.  no one is hurting you.  you’re not locked in and trapped, at someone else’s mercy.  you’re just on a bus.

Okay.  If I do lose it, what then?  If I pass out, medics and a hospital?  I’m not so scared of hospitals even though I hate them.  As much as I hate attention being called to myself, if that’s what happens I can deal.  Except I feel so fucking uncomfortable, I want to scream and if I scream then I’ll be sent to that other hospital, the one with rubbery walls and shifty eyes all around.  And then I’m grateful that my heart is in my throat, still choking me because at least it means that I can’t scream.

26th street.
Sweet fucking relief.

I made it.

This still happens, what I suppose are panic attacks.  Almost always in subways and trains these days, which doesn’t diminish my love for public transport.  Luckily it’s only occurred on train lines where it’s 2-3 minutes maximum between stations.

So I count 120 seconds.
If I can make it 120 seconds, I can run out.
I’ve made it so far.

The relief is the same as the first time: immense and so, so sweet.