Glimpses of ourselves in each other

“I did meet her at a very strange time in my life. I was much younger, much more inexperienced with life, compared to her.
She was alluring. Intelligent, crass but funny, polite when needed, unapologetically herself, sure and confident of her likes and dislikes, at times conscious of her temporary abrasiveness, but fully aware of the depths of her love. And she took me in.
We spent time together for years, 3 1/2 to be exact. Beautiful times. We saw glimpses of ourselves in each other. Maybe that is that was so convincing, so inebriating. I think she's the only person that saw me at my worst, when the reality of self was just so brutal, just so cold. And she stuck with me. I soared after that.

I used her encouragement to discover myself, to explore and to grow. We ran on the pier together, we walked up and down the bleak streets of the city, we spent so many nights in dive bars, talking to and about strangers. I only know now that it was love.
Our friendship fed us. The fondest memory I have of her is one Christmas Eve. We were both in the city, we couldn't afford to travel back home, and, maybe to some extent, didn't want to. And we didn't make any plans either, thinking we would've been invited to some dinner. But that fell through, and, after texting, we met two hours before midnight at our favourite bar. We were regulars, so the bartender already had our beers on the counter before we got our jackets off. The place was quiet, just a couple sitting in the back and an old man reading next to the bar. The beers just kept coming, we lost track of time, and, to our surprise, the bar got lively, busy, teaming with groups of friends, celebrating. We were happy, laughing, dancing, singing.
We knew each other’s sensibilities. I knew not to talk about her mother, she knew about my family too. It wasn't always easy to pick each other again and again and again. We were hard and harsh as well, both of us. Maybe territorial, maybe desperately thirsty for ego. Sometimes, we told ugly things to each other, with purpose and meaning or we were simply misunderstood. And we made each other hurt.

The influence she had on me is still so present. It didn't go away. I feel her in my mind, sometimes looking over my shoulder. I still think of her. She's still out there, hopefully living a life she loves and she's proud of. But I don't want to meet or see her anymore. I know we had our time, and I look back fondly at the past, for I see her then, but I see an old self too. The truth is, I don't want to let her memory go. And I want to believe it's the same in her case.”

text & image:
Mihai, 25
Copenhagen, Denmark
September 2019