When I think about the singer at all, it’s usually because I had a dream about him. It’s amazing how the details are all still there in my brain, even fifteen years later: the rubbed-thin feel of his band t-shirts, the oakmoss notes in his cologne, the way his hair felt on the soft skin on my neck. If we had had sex, I’m sure those memories would be there, too, but we never did.
My relationship with the singer exists in my brain in a kind of category-less limbo — definitely more than a friendship, but not quite an actual relationship. The singer and I never “made love,” but we did make love, coax it from the air around us, render it in our folded hearts. We made letters and art and songs, we made lists of things we taught each other, we made poetry we exchanged in the middle of the night, walking to the spot exactly between our across-campus dorms, and then walking quickly back in opposite directions.
My relationship with the singer exists in my brain in a kind of category-less limbo — definitely more than a friendship, but not quite an actual relationship.
In the winter, he took me as his guest to our college’s winter formal. Our designated driver got too drunk too fast, and the singer shelled out for a cheap room across the street from the banquet hall. We draped our fancy clothes across the suitcase rack and slept in our underwear under the stiff hotel blankets. A thunderstorm raged outside. Lightning flashes filtered through the curtains, throwing shadows on our bare arms.
He didn’t kiss me.
We were more than best friends for almost five years, but it never got physical. The mundane politics of early adult life played a role. He was the ex of a peripheral friend, then I briefly dated a friend of his. Bad timing had its part to play, as it always does in almost-love stories. The singer flirted with a girl one notch over on the rust belt. I moved from one serious relationship to another more serious still.
In between, we did our fair share of cuddling and holding hands. We shared a bed with some amount of regularity. There was a lingering kiss…