where it’s rooted.

Intimacy is a blooming thing.

It changes as a world unfolds around it. Like the purple thistle that comes after rain. Like the black-eyed Susans that remain loyal to Spring.

Intimacy is too often perceived to be the red rose, we don’t consider that it might be the thorn. That it may be the tall grasses between the wildflower patches. It’s the scorching sun. It’s the suffocating rain. When love is real, intimacy becomes the thing that we need more than the thing we desire. The boring, the mundane, the seemingly ordinary.

But it’s not ordinary. It’s not ordinary at all to love another person. Not in the way that intimacy will demand. It’s not ordinary at all to want more for the things we love. It’s not ordinary to advocate for its needs. It’s not ordinary at all to be so invested in the blooming of something else we will pour from our own supply.

But it’s not a beautiful thing, not in outward appearances. It’s a garish thing. A grating thing. It’s an intimacy that requires real love. And even then, it’s a worrisome thing. Because I want you to still think I’m beautiful, in outward appearances. I want you to leave with a sense of loveliness when I go. I want you to think of me fondly. I want to color your existence in ease. And this intimacy I’ve grown with you wars with that. Still new enough that I feel the need to remind you of my best, just rooted enough that I might prick you with my thorns.

I can’t tell you why I’m sometimes incapable of drawing upon my well of charm. Or why I feel the need at all to tap it. I can’t tell you why I can’t let myself simply exist. Why sometimes I retreat. I can’t tell you why I don’t trust myself to be enough at an even point, why I must be too much.

Perhaps I’ll always be as much of a mystery to myself as I am to you. Maybe it’s not worth us ever finding out. If you haven’t realized it yet, I’m remarkably complicated. But I wonder if it might be just lovely enough that that complexity is rooted in wanting more. That I grapple with the lingering things I drop at your feet. That I endeavor everyday to navigate more smoothly these mysterious tendencies I’m prone to. Perhaps it’s just as lovely that I should worry about it at all.

I will always be this. Cognitive dissonance in its corporeal form. I will always be trying to best my humanity. I will always be stumbling over my feet to leave you with small favors. If I can promise nothing else, it’s that: I will never cease my striving to bring only happiness to your life. It’s my source code.

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