“Our behavior toward each other is the strangest, most unpredictable and most unaccountable of all the phenomena with which we are obliged to live. In all of nature, there is nothing so threatening to humanity as humanity itself.” – Lewis Thomas
You can never predict how another human being might change, no matter how close you are to them. Tides of feelings and thoughts and worries can sweep anyone away into a spiral of unintended and unwanted consequences. The next thing you know, the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with is an echo in the hall and a shadow of memory.
An empty slate can be painful, but it is always a blessing. There is no better place for new beginnings. And so I begin, again. If you read my blog, you’ll know I’m embarking on a solo journey and intend to stay that way for quite some time. But lately, despite my conviction that this is absolutely the right thing, memories of so many words-turned-broken-promises have been haunting me. They would flit around from corner to corner of my head, like a dark moth shedding a skin of loneliness.
No longer. This weekend, on the road for a gig in the middle of Illinois, I found my perfect distraction. Zero hope for stability or even reality: perfect. No clue if I’m remembering his name right: fine. But I wouldn’t trade the night I spent getting to know this quiet man for all the oil in Texas.
He was a tall, blue-eyed cowboy from Houston. The other girls had been eyeing him all day, but he kept mostly to himself. We bonded over the fact that my glittery gold phone case matched the finish on one of his guitars. Soft-spoken, he told me the difference between chew tobacco and dip. He bought me a beer post-show at a way-too-loud bar and we traded sips; I suppressed my dislike of IPAs. He made sure to introduce me to everybody we met, and pronounced my name perfectly wrapped in a warm Texas drawl. He lightly touched my shoulder or my arm when he leaned in to tell me something, and it was just enough to turn that moth into hundreds of butterflies.
Their bus left at 3am, headed to Tulsa.
“You are so beautiful. I’m so glad I got to meet you.”
I’ll probably never see him again. Love isn’t for me right now, but it’s nice to remember that it’s still alive and well in the world. Hey Texas: thanks for the butterflies.