I can't concentrate, damn it.

I couldn't to save my life. I've gone through my day learning about predator-prey relationships, obsessive-compulsive disorder, the symbolism in novels…and now we're all sitting here in a circle of desks analyzing shit, and everyone seems so genuinely devoted to the subject, so taken with the topic that's as gray as the specks on the tile floor and as dusty as the smell rising from the creased pages. How do we do this? I watch the clock and it occurs to me that that is what I'm analyzing: the noise it makes when it gives another merciful tick, the impossible way it is only 2:02 when about an hour ago it read 2:00.

Well, that's what it feels like.

I cannot pay attention. I cannot make myself care. Outside, the glint of sunlight is cold, but in my head all these things—these psychotically new and amazing things—are bursting into bloom. It is nearing the end of October in the physical world, but my mental world is screaming spring. Something restless, alive, and uncontainable has awakened inside me, a kind of perpetual buzzing in my heart and blur in my mind.

I love life. I love everyone sitting in this room. I love God. I love me. I love you.

I mean it every time I say it you know; I want to say it constantly because I know I mean it. It's crazy. This is crazy. This is a sweet tinge of knowledge in the back of my mind, always present…but I'm only conscious of it when my mind flickers back to you and I remember. Every single time, I feel my stomach kind of drop and there is this electric burning in my chest. And I start smiling, and I can't stop. I'll just be sitting there with this huge grin on my face, my insides churning, and I don't want to sit still anymore—I want to jump up run screaming laugh for no reason dance or EXPLODE or kiss you—like last night. (I know I was paranoid but I was glad you hinted to me that you weren't going to make the first move. It was perfect.)

I remember it and everything in me just jumps…then sighs, happy and full, the way you feel after you've been hungry all day and you finally satisfy your stomach. On our knees in your sunroom. The way your eyes fell closed; the way our heads touched lightly after the warm, wet soul-meeting of lips and we both smiled big, my eyes still shut tight in fear and joy. My hands shaking as they held yours. How many times did we kiss? Five? Six? Seven? A glance and then a kiss. A look…a kiss. A smile and a kiss. Sweet, slow, heartbreakingly perfect.

I left your house last night and broke into a frantic run, darting for my car and jamming the keys in, pressing my head against the wheel and squealing for happiness. For lack of anything else to express. My body bubbled—I'll never eat again as long as I live, I thought, or sleep. I wanted to throw up all over my shoes; I wanted to dance down the street; I wanted to tell everyone.

But I just went home and climbed quietly into bed and I smiled myself to sleep, clutching the fresh laundered comforter to my chest and praying thank Yous to God—warm all night even though it was freezing cold in there.

Thank you for showing me

(in a matter of days)

what I've been missing all these years.