Rewind to July 4, 1998, I think. I was living on East Houston Street. I was having a wierd time in a long-distance relationship with a girl who lived in Houston, Texas. My roommate and I were having a keg party on the rooftop of our apartment. There were tons of people there, but at one point in the evening my attention became totally focused on this girl who had walked in with some friends of mine. Her last name, as I later found out, was Houston.
I knew right away that I was madly in love with her. I hadn't ever been hit with feelings like that. I didn't know who she was, I wasn't even sure of her first name - but she had this thing, this aura, a vibe, whatever, that totally sucked me in. And, of course, I was utterly unable to speak to her. I spent most of the evening hanging around the periphery of whatever conversation she was having, trying not to appear like I was lurking or anything.
Then the fireworks started. I've been a total sucker for fireworks since I was about 5 years old. The view from our rooftop was good enough. I stood, transfixed, drunk, staring at the sky. And then I noticed that this girl was standing right next to me. And there was this... thing between us, even to this day we can't explain it to each other, this connection, this sense that the rest of the world had melted away and it was just the two of us, looking at fireworks. It was a perfect moment.
When the fireworks were over, we sorta looked at each other, I said something stupid like "Wow, those were great fireworks, huh," and she smiled and eventually she walked over to her friends, and I mentally kicked myself in the ass so hard I almost fell over with disgust.
I ran into her a few more times that summer, and never got the courage to ask her name. And for years afterwards, she was the one that got away.
Fast forward to March 2000. I had just had an incredibly messy breakup, ending the first real relationship I'd ever had. She was older than me, and in a different place in her life, and our priorities in our lives had nothing to do with each other, really. We were supposed to go to JazzFest in New Orleans, but when we broke up, she kept my ticket. So, instead, I went to a party that my old roommate from Houston Street was having. It was a fundraiser for his girlfriend's theater company.
And as soon as I walked into the room, there she was. And she remembered who I was. And we talked the whole night.
And so now it's been over a year, and we're very much in love, and it's all I ever wanted out of a relationship. She's the perfect girl for me - she's my age, she's creative, she's a redhead, she's beautiful... I've gushed over her before and I just got handed some work, but you get the idea.
Hmm. I feel much better now...