You Make Me Feel

Most of the time you make me feel happy. When we pass each other in the kitchen, and our eyes meet, and sparkle, and we kiss. The buzz of a phone and the little leap in my heart when I see your name. When we go out and you take my hand in yours, strong, protected, in charge. When we lie in bed, staying up entirely too late while you make me laugh in a full-bodied way I had almost forgotten. It’s certainly new, and that’s a part of it, but as I try to tell you in so many ways, you make me happy.

You make me feel awake. Even when we are up all night inventing word games, even when we stay curled together through three alarms, conscious but refusing to leave the comfort of bed and each other. You are the only person I’ve met who makes me enjoy waking up early, to be with you in the morning light. Seeing you is like a tiny hit of speed, and I spend the rest of my day not tired at all.

You make me feel interesting, how you are rapt, listening to my stories. The truth is, I feel interesting by association of being with you, who leads a life far more adventurous than mine. You make me feel desired, when you hoist me up on the kitchen counter while the pot boils over, or softly trace pictures on my arm. You make me feel loved, when you tell me to text when I’m home safe or pull me closer to you in your sleep.

You make me feel giddy, you make me feel nervous, so I always double check my math and talk too quickly. You like things in a certain way, I know nothing goes unorganized or unnoticed. I don’t know all of your rules yet, and I am scared I will do something wrong. I hear your comments inside my head, woven into my thoughts, a part of my life now. I fuss and I primp and I try, hoping it will be good, hoping it will be good enough.

You infuriate me, the heat rising in my face and the air crackling around me. You can be endlessly frustrating. I am known for my lack of temper, but when something is wrong with you I shake, I seethe. Not often, but enough to know the power is there.

You make me feel. Thinking of you makes my heart beat faster, waking it from nonchalant ambivalence. There have been others but I did not feel with them; I had my escape routes, their absence did not affect me. There was an Other, and because of that I did not feel for a long time. You know the reason for the dormancy. You kissed me and said it gave me depth. You make me feel, and with the excitement comes fear from disuse.

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You terrify me. I do not want to go back. I wonder if this is real, if it will go away. If soon you will make me feel like nothing, your gaze passing through me as I chatter on in a way you used to find endearing. If this is really right for me, feeling like this, if it should be easier. If one day our relationship will be revealed as a ruse, and everything will fall apart. I keep waiting, expecting for this to happen, but what does that accomplish?

I don’t know how I used to have all these feelings so easily. This is exhausting. I don’t know if it is normal, this doubt, this exhilaration, this unfounded panic—if any of this is how I am supposed to feel. It has been so long, I don’t remember, but it frightens me. I am good at glib, I am good at glossing over. I am not good at feeling.

With you, I am trying this. Through the urge to pull back and shut down, through the rawness, I am trying, love. Even as the forgotten, unsavory parts of being in a relationship surface, I am thankful to you for this awakening. Most of the time, you make me feel so, so happy. I hope you stay, and I hope this feeling doesn’t stop.

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