word nerd

October 29, 2009 § 1 Comment

The other day, as I was reminiscing about the burger I found in my pocket, I thought about something else I would sometimes (more like all the time) keep in my bag and, when it would fit, in my coat pocket.

On one of those drunken nights around the East Village, Takafumi and I were roaming around, probably heading back to my place or stumbling away from some bar on Third Avenue.  I was feeling inside the pocket of my giant brown winter coat, looking for my keys, and as I yanked them out, my little secret betrayed me.

It was an old pocket thesaurus with a worn purple paperback cover, edges frayed and torn.  The pages were a deep beige, tanner than my own skin, discolored from years and years of use.   I first found it in my basement about 5 years ago, used by someone once upon a time.  He or she had written in the margins and underlined a few words, and as the thesaurus slowly became my own, I, too, would highlight especially good synonyms here and there.

For “show,” I like “illustrate,” but of course, that doesn’t always fit.  In other cases, I would use “demonstrate” or “exhibit,” but those always seemed so clinical to me.  For “effusive,” I go with “gushing.”  For “possibility,” I’m tickled by “chance” and “promise.”  For “support,” there is no good synonym, and I’m still looking for the right word to highlight.

I don’t carry it around with me anymore, but I still find myself constantly paging through the new love of my life, The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, a compilation that any respectable writer would own (and also  the one thing I asked all my loved ones to buy me for Christmas; to my own dismay and mine alone, no one did.)

It was more than a year ago when the thesaurus fell out of my pocket.  It was like a slow motion dive to the pavement, and as I let out an exaggerated, “Noooo,” the secret was out.  Takafumi grabbed the little purple monster before I could conceal the truth, and he looked at me with this mischievous look, both startled and intrigued, ever so slightly mocking.  He poked fun at me, and I blushed at the revelation of my nerdy inclinations. But nevertheless, I believe, at that moment, as he discovered the maniacal highlighting of my favorite synonyms ever, he realized right then that he was in love with me.

I’m sure that was the moment he knew.  I’ll just continue believing that. In other words, I’ll assume, trust, fancy, or suppose that’s the way things happened.

there’s a burger in your pocket

October 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

When we found each other, I’d venture into the streets of New York, stumbling along after the warm up drinks, fumbling text messages back and forth with him.  Until, somehow, I’d end up at one of three bars.  Central Bar.  Bar None.  Finnerty’s.  All within walking distance of each other, and maybe, more important to him, all within walking distance of Blue 9 Burger.

An exchange of where’s and who’s and what’s, and I would fall out of a cab at a moment’s notice.  Then, I’d strut inside and glance around, focusing more on my peripheral vision — for some reason trying not to look him in the eye until he’d spot me first.  And of course he’d be red-faced and smiling.  Not hiding his gladness in that gentle, genuinely happy to see you, cannot believe you actually came type of smile as he sat on a bench with another guy, who — once I arrived — became second string to my presence. I’d be drunk, and we’d slur words to each other.  I never really remembered anything we talked about, but I knew we were both smiling the entire time.

Then, we’d find ourselves at Blue 9 Burger, smiles and glances over a bun and a greasy beef patty.  The genuinely glad you’re here type of smile.  The genuinely glad I’m here with you type of smile.

That first time, I’d hardly eaten, and I wrapped the remaining half and put it in my pocket to bring home.  He walked me home that night.  Might’ve been the first of many nights.  Walking me home in the twilight of the East Village.

The day after, I found a burger in my pocket.  And a I’m so glad that happened smile washed over my face.  Because I found a burger from Blue 9 in my pocket. The hilarity still gets me today.  A friend would remind me, “There was a burger in your pocket.”

But that’s where the love story trickled on.  And I can show you the many kinds of smiles I’ve learned since then.

took the plunge.

October 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m merely a hobbyist, but this bad boy may become my new best friend.

Please don’t mind my salivating.


this won’t be good enough.

October 2, 2009 § 1 Comment

I’m the type of person who cannot sleep for more than 6 hours.  It’s often to my disadvantage because I tend to spend the first hours of the day — my favorite time  — alone.  Yet, most of the time, I’m not alone. 

My eyes open, and I feel this amazing fullness.  My body senses what’s happening.  Your chin is resting on my shoulder, and your arms envelop my small body.  I stay there for a moment, nest deeper in our pose, and, reveling, I close my eyes and sigh.  Breathing sweet air and tingling all over.  I become restless, so I move away from you and lie on your bed next to you as you sleep.  At this point, it’ll be hours before you rouse for your day.  And while we’re together, we’re apart. 

I am on my own on a bed with a body, a painting of perfection to watch and to admire.  I’ve told you before how beautiful you are.

I prop myself up with my elbows, and I lean my journal against your pillow.  My pen soars from line to line as I write and remember the way we were just hours before, when we were naked while not being naked at all.  I love our talks.  I love learning about your thoughts, the things that make you human, kind, beautiful.  You trust me with those thoughts, and that trust makes whatever this is that we have more intense for me.

The light from your window catches on the translucent hairs on your smooth tan skin.  Your skin seems to radiate.  It seems to glow with the same warmth with which your heart operates. With the same heat in your breath when your lips are on mine. Your chest fills with air and levels down in this slow, even rhythm.  Your pulse is a visible beating in your neck.   I move closer to you, facing you.  I trace the outline of your body with my pointer finger, and I’m wondering whether you’re really there.  With me.  I can’t really handle what the sight of you like this does to me.  It is holy.

Your face and the slits of your eyes. Calm lids, relaxing, natural.  The downhill incline of your brows — they make you look so much like a child, thoughtful.  The ridge of your nose, the nose that finds its home in the nape of my neck and the small spaces throughout.  And your lips’ curves, plateauing and falling, full without ever filling me.  What I do for your kisses.  The slow kisses, the inextricable link between lip and heart, the kisses that feel more like cries.  When you sleep, I press my lips gently against yours, just to feel myself fall — just to feel myself trip over you.

I don’t think I’ll ever capture what this feels like in words.

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