I still remember when we first met.
How wonderfully mad we were for
each other. All the passion, mayhem,
and wild adventure.
But somewhere along the way
we lost all that.
Looking back, what we called
love was just a fleeting infatuation.
A marvellous connection, but a
The Limit of Lust – Beau Taplin
Have you ever gone down a road you know you shouldn’t go down?
It was late June and I saw a massive “Dead End” sign standing in front of me. So after careful consideration, weighing my options, and knowing full well I should not make this decision, that’s exactly the road I went with. It may not have led anywhere in particular – or rather, it may not have led where I naively imagined it could – but I can assure you this:
Some mistakes are pretty fun to make, at the very least, while you’re making them.
That’s how I wanted this story to start, originally. I wrote that first part and then stared at it for the better part of two weeks. I liked it a lot, in some ways. Mostly because it had a dramatic edge to it and seemed like it could be setting up a great plot.
Here’s the problem though. When you choose to go down a road you know you shouldn’t go down, it’s not a mistake at all. It’s a decision. And despite its faults, and some mild emotional whiplash that came from such a sudden stop, if I had to go back, I’d choose that same road all over again.
I’ve never had a summer romance. Not until now at least, and even then, it might be a bit of a stretch. There was no falling in love, and no irreparable heartbreak in the end. Whatever it was though, had its moments of fast-paced, whirlwind romance and a slight edge of carefree chaos.
We’d both tell you that we didn’t expect any of this. But I don’t know if that’s the whole truth.
Over time we built a friendship on a foundation of questions. An endless string of thoughts that came with mismatched answers which trembled below any other kind of surface-level conversation, until they bubbled up once again. I’m pretty sure the first thing I asked was, when was the last time you cried.
We built a friendship on questions and then we added fireworks and speed boats, brunches and barbecues, horse farms and ocean parks into the equation until we were both ridden with confusion. We built a friendship on questions and then got incredibly distracted by the intensity of attraction.
There was nothing concrete, nothing that promised stability in any of this. We were a conflicting mixture of taking things slow and rushing into something the way two people run into the ocean in the darkness for the very first time. Eager, and with blinders on.
We were a conflicting mixture of friends and people who held hands and danced on the street after watching the sun go down on a rooftop balcony. I don’t think we ever really knew where we stood, so we moved in closer and tried to find a place there until we couldn’t anymore – until you couldn’t anymore – until we couldn’t anymore. Goodbye kisses have never been more confusing.
For two people who asked each other so many questions, we tiptoed around several important ones until we ended up tripping right over them.
This summer I fell for a short-lived romance story. A story of dancing in a kitchen and daydreaming on a balcony. A story of frustration and secrets and the slight – more than slight – thrill of all of it. I fell for a photographer who hides his photos, and for a person who likes to answer most questions with another question. I fell for a person who reminded me how great it feels to be challenged, even when I didn’t think I needed it. We know each other better than we think we do – we know each other better than we’d both like to admit to.
If it came down to a simple checklist, it might have lasted longer than it did. But despite how many boxes we checked off for one another, there was still something we couldn’t quite give.
So instead, it came down to this. It was a summer fuelled by a mismatch of cheap and expensive wines, a thing for wine bottles and a few somewhat drunken decisions with minor repercussions. It was you and me and something about falling for, or maybe just pursuing, the wrong person at the wrong time and all of it feeling so right. There’s nothing graceful about a worst-kept secret and getting tired of hiding the remnants of a seemingly inadequate decision, but let’s be honest – it made for a great and wonderful story while it lasted. At the very least, the memory is sure to outlive the rest of it.
To you: even without a destination, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Here’s to a new one.
To summer: you’ve been wild, but I’ve always had a thing for autumn.