Dear J

I learnt what “skid marks” were the hard way. I also lived with the most putrid, rotting fish fingers in the fridge – so pungent I caught a whiff of it on my robe after a hot shower in California. To be fair, I contributed to this lifestyle by allowing us to keep the leftover Chicken Masala in the microwave after a night out, still a superior alternative to the kebabs across the street. ‘Twas good whilst it lasted but we weren’t raving to it.

It’s not exactly socially acceptable to pee in the same room as another person, with the door open. I don’t usually let people listen to me pee either. So I think what we have is pretty special. There’s also no one else I’d rather be caught tatas out to the sun with but you, babe. Only in France.

And don’t even get me started on “when the day is winding down”. The onset of night is the beginning of delirium. We can get away with following a good looking man home (half joking), guffawing in tears in supermarkets, malls, parks, trains… We have left echoes of our joint existence in narrow lanes and bar corners. We are insufferable, but who can help it when you pronounce ‘Gare du Nord’ like that??

You are my saving grace on Moody Mornings, your positivity dampened only by scoundrels that demand you donate to them- the deaf, blind and mute. All of them hearing & speaking. You drag me away from hopeless conversations and you help me snag all the deals. Ask for the iPhone charger, you say, the hotel adapters, an umbrella, low sodium meals on the airplane. Where would I be without you? Soaking wet, wandering through the streets of Paris, lost, and dying from chronic high blood pressure, most likely. And I can’t thank you enough for trouble shooting my laptop and updating my phone so that I can upgrade my emoji usage. I have been waiting for a ‘crossed fingers’ pictogram for the longest time. You are my I.T Wiz, MY ROCK.

I am thankful that you’re always on my cycle: lazy-day bud one day, hiking and yoga bud the next. Wine buddy one day, I-would-rather-die-than-drink buddy the next. Thank you for listening to stories about the same guys over and over again. Thank you for seeing the best in me. And most of all, thank you for understanding that my God is my compass.

I am always glad to know you are near, your sandals thumping behind me.

Happy

There are things that I’ve written about you that I will one day look back on and chuckle at. It’s always funny to see how much something once meant, how deeply something was once felt. Nothing can take away how my heart lifts when I remember, though. Happiness is a moment.

I can only hope I made you feel the way you made me feel. Thank you. Thank you.

Transcendent

Meditation is not only about embracing stillness. It’s about absorbing the moment and being mindful of present sensations, like being aware of the interminent ticks of the clock and the snoring of my sister, the weight of my chin on my hand, the soft pillow beneath my crossed knee.
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2005. My ‘second birthday’- when I made the official decision to commit myself to Jesus Christ. My family surrounded me and my aunt even bought a cake to commemorate this new life. As I watched the candles wink and envelop me in warmth, I thought to myself: this is unreal. Like a picture.
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Euphoria. A dopamine/ endorphin rush. I’m on a high, with just enough alcohol in my blood. But Red Bull is most likely the culprit. There are certain moments when I say to myself: I will remember this. It’s the mental snapshot that I take. The boys are coming over to us, pushing through people with their necks strained above moving heads. I squeeze your arm and say “they’re coming now.” And suddenly we don’t care. We dance. We DANCE. And I get this feeling that I don’t want to forget. We’re illuminated in blue, weightless, smiling with our teeth and shaking our heads at each other. This is my meditation.
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We have an exam on Monday… So wanna go out tonight? I’m half-joking, kind of contemplating it. I’m trying to seduce her with the idea and she hates me for it. “You’re just trying to make me say that I want to go and then you’re going to say that you’re just joking”. But we do go. She has her maths lesson and when we arrive it’s already 12:45. Straight to T I think (our new homebase). No Antoine tonight- although someone does look a lot like him. We get a few drinks (some free) and go to all these fun places. Then we push onto the platform. The lights are slicing through consciousness, we’re hogging the airconditioned corner, and it’s the same feeling as the one previously described. So happy. Elevated. Would die happy in that moment.

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun hasn’t taken over the sky yet, but it’s not grey. The sky is blue and purple-ish. The clouds hang dark and we’d have found the moon if we tried. Remember these streets, the padding of our feet along the middle of empty roads. We buy 7/11 food like we haven’t eaten for days and talk about the last time we did this. Could it top that time? On par. Top night.
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Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re listening to Jesse Mccartney and David Archuleta. We’re bringing back the babes of the last decade, so of course we’re listening to Shayne Ward. We’re shouting the lyrics to ‘Breathless’: if we had babies they would look like you, in flat tones and bursts of laughter. We’re flinging our arms wildly and smothering ourselves in sound.
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Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re buying marshmallows and cookie dough. We want to make s’mores. The chocolate digesetives look deformed and we’re poisioning ourselves with gas-burned marshmallows but the crunch followed by the sweet lava is so worth it.

SO PERFECT I LOVE MY LIFE.
To remember.