Sex is the surest way to surrender yourself to the moment and just let go of all your superficial concerns and stresses. You really have no choice but to let go and be right there as it's happening. Afterwards you realize the beauty and fragility of life while you're lying there in that person's arms. Everything..right in that moment..is simply wonderful and okay. The intimacy of making love combined with being with someone that just knows you inside and out is the most amazing feeling in the world.
Last night at 2 A.M. I was lying in bed with Eric, and we were just murmuring to eachother in the darkness as we drifted off to sleep. Those are my favorite moments.
Eric whispered "you know..our wedding anniversary is coming up this month"
"I know..it's wild..the years went by so fast.." (They really did, it's strange how it feels like we just got married yesterday)
"Do you remember the first time we met?"
I remember clearly the first time I met Eric.
I was in college in Florida, it was a Friday night and everyone on campus had been talking about a big keg party. Someone in the student commons had invited me and I was supposed to meet my boyfriend there.
So there I was in a car with 3 of my friends in the campus housing parking lot when I realized that I had misplaced the directions. I searched through my bookbag and my purse.
"Wait right here", I told my friends, stepping out of the car. "I'm going to find the directions, ..I'm sure I'll bump into someone that's also going. Give me a second"
So I ran through the hallways..searching for people wandering around that I could ask. I bumped into a tall guy in a baseball cap. He told me he was heading upstairs to his apartment and his roommate had the directions. So I followed him.
I ended up in a strange smokey apartment with Christmas lights strung up everywhere, and beer on all the counters and coffee table. The living room was filled with people.
That's when I first saw Eric. He was sitting in the center, on the sofa talking to the group. He had long dark hair falling down to his shoulders and a Goatee, He was wearing a faded green shirt and corduroy pants. He stuck out from the rest instantly and I just gazed at him. Have you ever had to just pause and stare at someone because you felt an instant physical attraction to them? Just that little "oooh.. hot guy!" button goes off in your brain?
Our eyes met and I remember they looked so clear and penetrating in the light. He just stared at me and I couldn't read his expression.
Then the guy with the baseball cap hit my shoulder lightly. "Hey..My roommate is in the other room..come on" I looked away and followed him.
The roommate wrote down the directions for me on a piece of paper. I thanked him.
When I turned around to head out, I bumped directly into Eric. He was suddenly behind me!..It came as such a shock that I gasped.
He laughed "Sorry, Am I that frightening?"
"No..I just..", I was blushing so hard "I didn't see you.."
"I was planning on going to jakes party. ", He said "Are those the directions?"
"Yes..", I said, then hesitated. "I'm heading there right now..Do you want a ride?"
"No, I have my own car. But do you mind if I follow you?", He leaned closer, I could feel his breath tickling my neck when he whispered "I need to get out of here"
I nodded "sure"
I waited for him to get something from the other room and say goodbye to everyone I heard them saying "Leaving already? aww..c'mon.." Etc etc. I stood there near the front door, twirling a piece of string around my finger and wishing I had time to re-apply my lipstick, feeling strangely self-conscious.
He met up with me and I asked "Ready?"
(funny how I remember all these little details with such clarity.)
We started walking together down the hallway. "So what's your name?", I asked
"Eric" He said
"Clarity", I said reaching out to shake his hand.
He laughed and took my hand in his "I know"
"Oh", I was quiet for a moment, then looked at him carefully. "You have an slight accent..I can't place it though. Where are you from?"
"oh..Germany?..wow" I drew a blank for a moment. See for most countries, I would have a witty response or some kind of knowledge about the country I could share..or maybe a desire to visit the country. But Germany was a country I knew very little about. So all I could think of saying was: "I never met anyone from Germany"
"Really", I nodded. "you're the first"
"Is it?", at that point we were heading down the staircase, I kept looking up at him while we were talking and didn't look at where I was stepping. I lost my balance for a second..
Eric reached out and took my arm to steady me.
I laughed "I'm an accident waiting to happen"
He smiled and looked into my eyes. That moment stuck out in my mind, because we both just stopped walking. We just stood there so close, face to face..his hand gently holding my arm. I remember my cheeks felt hot, I nearly stopped breathing. .
I cleared my throat "You speak English well..", I said continuing down the stairs.
"I studied for 8 years"
"I always thought Germans spoke like this.. I Vill Cruzh zou lick a Buk"
He started laughing "What did you just say?!"
"I will crush you like a bug"
"Why would I say that?"
"I don't know..that's what the German villains say in American films", I explained.
He laughed harder. "Well, Germans don't have the greatest reputation here..apparently"
"Do you like America?"
He just raised one eyebrow, and took an intake of breath. Then exhaled. "I've met a lot of great people", he said finally.
"Someday I'd like to travel to Europe", I told him.
We continued talking until we reached the car, I handed the directions to my friend in the drivers seat and slipped into the passenger side.
"Took you long enough", My friend, Dawn muttered
"Stop bitching, I got the directions, didn't I?", I said "And wait a second..Eric is getting his car to follow us"
"Who's Eric?" She turned around in her seat to see, then raised her eyebrows. "Hey! you picked up a hot guy for us. Good going. I forgive you now"
Once we reached the party, Eric parked behind us. He shut off the engine and walked around to our car. "Thanks", he said to me. I smiled.
Then some girl came running up to him "Hey! Eric! You're here!!"
I felt foolish just standing there. "Alright..see you around", I said briefly without waiting for a response and headed inside the party to find my boyfriend, Justin.
That was the end of our first encounter.
Our real connection occurred during our second encounter a week later. During that week, I found myself hoping to bump into him again. I thought about him and asked around. I saw him once a few days later when I was sitting on our campus housing apartment balcony with a few of friends smoking.
He was walking through the parking lot with a group of guys. He glanced at me and waved. I smiled and waved back.
Then on my way to check my mail in the student commons, I heard someone playing the piano in the lounge room. I wandered in through the open glass doors and saw Eric on the piano. I listened at the doorway for a moment..and then walked up to him.
"Hey Mr. Germany", I said with a smile
"Hey Miss. America", He said. I pushed a few of he high note keys on the piano with my fingers gently and then walked around him. I liked the feeling of his eyes on me.
"I didn't know you could play the piano," I said "You play well..I always wanted to play.."
"Well, sit down, I'll teach you", He said
"What? right now?", I said looking around in surprise
"yeah..Carpe Diem", He said "seize the day"
I froze and just stared into his eyes. "What did you just say?"
He pointed to the knapsack hanging off my shoulders "Carpe Diem..It's written on your bag"
I smiled "oh.."
I sat down next to him, and he positioned my hands over the keys. I remember the way his touch felt, the closeness of his shoulder against mine..The instant comfort I felt in his presence. It was different from anything I knew. After an hour, we were opening up to eachother and talking as though we had known eachother our entire lives..
We stayed at that piano together talking and laughing for 3 hours, then went to Subway and sat together talking until it closed and the cleaning lady asked us politely to leave as they were shutting off the lights.
He walked me to my apartment door at half past midnight. As we were saying goodbye for the night, Eric said "lets be friends"
It's weird, but for some reason at that moment..that was weirdly crushing. I was really attracted to him, and even though I had a boyfriend and I couldn't do anything about these feelings. I was disappointed that he didn't feel the same way. (or at least that was my perception at the time..however, he was just respecting the fact that I was in a relationship.)
"Yeah..okay", I said laughing and rolling my eyes slightly. "I think we have that covered after tonight"
"No I'm serious", He said taking my hands "Real friends, true friends..not in the "American way" of casual acquaintances. But on a deeper level, I feel really connected to you in a way I haven't felt with anyone in a long time"
"I feel that too"
Later on I laid in bed, smiling into my pillow and thinking of the night we had.
And that was the beginning of our friendship.which spanned over my entire time in college, and the senior year before graduation it shifted for both of us..we had our first kiss. .
Now here we are.
Who would have thought that losing my directions to the party that night would lead me to meeting my future husband? You never know what awaits you right around the corner. Where or when you're going to meet that one person that is going to change your life forever. But when it happens, you just know it deep inside and nothing is ever the same again.