A while back, I went to the Lower Haight to hang out, for the first time in practically 10 years. The neighborhood has changed so much since I lived there.
I was, 10 years ago, spending much time in the Lower Haight, associating with a few folks that I still know (hi redshrike, and both housemates I have known for so long!). Also, I was seeing someone special. Someone very special. Someone who passed away from HIV complications while I was out of the country, who never even told me he was positive. Someone I was mad for.
Hanging out in the haunts of that period, a while back, was a bit mystifying and really quite disorienting; I kept looking up for the people we used to be. They were bound to walk in at some point again. And they kept... not walking in. This evening really left skidmarks on my forebrain for a good week as I tried to parse out that That Much Time had, in fact, passed. Then is not now- and what was then is no more.
So tonight, I went to hang out with a couple people I've had the pleasure of getting to know in the last year or so- folks I'd almost never met, even though we know QUITE A FEW people in common. We had a lovely dinner of Ethiopian and blathered on about stuff we were both acquainted with, in a restaurant that was one of 'our' restaurants.
We walked half of the way from that restaurant to his flat.
And you know? I didn't want to weep or hide under a table or something the whole evening- everything felt fine. I can go there again now: it's okay, now.
Thanks, E and J. My apologies if I rattled on at nauseating length about crap nobody really cared about- I was scared still; scared to be... silent. Scared to hear the place saying someone else's name, or to hear his name in passing, or-- anyways. Sorry if I was weird. I really enjoyed dinner a great deal, and it was a huge pleasure to finally meet E. :)
If you didn't notice, GOOD. I felt like I was prattling on in some desperate attempt to not hear anything but the sound of my own voice. But that may just have been me being self-conscious.
And now I'm home and can spend the remainder of my evening congratulating someone I'm completely nuts about on having had anniversaries of his birth. And treasure the fact I've known this person the majority of that intervening time- and that while what mattered before is gone, and not to be seen again, but there are things... just as important. More important, even.
Thank you for being someone who could matter that much, sweetheart.
Have a lovely night, folks.
...what, you didn't KNOW I could be that much of a sentimentalist or something?