I was a space-invader. When he walked in the door, I was white on rice, narrating my day in play-by-play. I believed the floor was my hamper. I literally threw clothes across the room just to see what kind of an arc they made on their journey through the air. Then I got distracted and forgot they were there, walking by them over and over as if they turned invisible. I left clusters of unfinished projects in my wake. Gobbled up the delicious food we were supposed to share. Never cleaned the lint trap. I obsessively moved things around - plants, candles, books, knickknacks - to the point where he never knew where anything was. If it wasn't for the clock on the microwave (that we used for extra kitchen storage), I wouldn't have one. Preferred my phone OFF. If you asked me what day it was, probability was high that I'd get it wrong.
He was meticulously clean . . . in some ways. He'd throw away my napkin before I finished with it and perfectly space his hangers with an index finger. His closet was a masterpiece, with even his dirty socks stacked neatly in the basket like a retail display. But he often cleaned spoons by licking them or did a soap-free rinse on dishes that desired a good scrub. I'd pull them off the drying pad and up to the light, discovering plates caked with food bits and silverware streaked by his tongue. Little hairs he missed in post-shave cleanup stuck to the white soap bar I used for my face. He gave the most tender, thoughtful pep talks on self-doubting days. Never used recipes but made the best gourmet food. Ate gargantuan salads out of the largest mixing bowl. Always said, "I have to potty," when he needed the bathroom for a #2. He left me love notes and brought home flowers, all the time, just because.
We didn't care about holidays. Turned on Macklemore and danced naked in the dining area we used as a home gym. I read my writings out loud, while he laid back on our puffy comforter, listening with his eyes closed. When we settled in at night, we played 10 Favorite Things, picking a subject and reciting what we loved most about it.
Sometimes we could read each other's minds. Other times, far from. Two years into living together, I was still learning the art of what felt like over-communicating.
I had to say things out loud I wouldn't think twice about when I was on my own, like -
"I'm still using my napkin."
"I ate the veggie fried rice I said I'd leave for you . . . and the gyoza . . . and the dolmas . . . "
"Please wash the dishes WITH SOAP."
He had to over-emphasize statements like -
"I bought an extra bag of gyoza, JUST FOR ME."
"Don't throw things at my face WHEN MY EYES ARE CLOSED."
"I need to use the bathroom, ALONE."
We were clean and dirty. Clingy and independent. Right and wrong. Weird in every way. Somehow it worked. We talked about everything. Laughed about most of it. And came to know ourselves better through the adventure of sharing a life.