Reviewing that post... I skipped over a lot. Let me tell you some of it.
I'd already developed a bit of a crush on Michael over Twitter. He is funny! He is adorable! He is genuinely helpful and supportive and an awesome human being! So I had that happy warm glow whenever I interacted with him, but, you know, I was in a closed relationship, he was in a closed relationship, there were the professional considerations, there was the distance... so I was content to just let that happy warm glow be a happy warm friendship glow.
And then we started talking on Gchat.
The thing about Michael and I is that basically we're the same person. Not in ways that most people who don't know us well would see without looking really closely, and we certainly have not had identical lives, but... our brains work exactly the same. Spookily so. Entrancingly so. Talking to Michael was... talking to someone who understood. In some cases, someone who understood for the first time. Which is not to dis any other partners! Just - we have a very particular sort of brain.
And so we got pretty addicted to talking to each other. Quickish chats stretched into hours. He became one of my closest friends, from all these miles away.
And I told myself quite sternly that that was all it could be.
One of the reasons it's been hard for me to get around to writing about the blossoming of this relationship is that I can't do so without talking about Judah. I don't want to talk about Judah. But he is inextricable from the early parts of Michael's and my story. Our first in-depth conversation was about me discovering that Judah had been cheating on me in September, while I was visiting my grandmother for the last time. I will mention Judah only where strictly relevant, and then he will be out of our story... because anything after the assault doesn't have him in it and doesn't need to.
So. September. Michael and I start chatting almost-daily, then daily, becoming best friends. <3
It was December that I knew I was in Trouble. :) I was going to Florida for Christmas, like I always do, and the thought of being out of contact with Michael for days... well, it was unthinkable! Shyly, I asked for his phone number. And texted him all through the trip, all through the Magic Kingdom, all through everything. It was the first time I did something that's become a tradition for us - I want you to be here, I want your hand in mine, and if I can't have that, I'll make you part of today any way I can.
So yeah. Withdrawal symptoms from not chatting? I knew I had feelings. I couldn't act on them. But I knew I had them.
And being as I was having feelings for a new person for the first time since Judah and I started dating... well, that's why we quietly opened our relationship early that January. As people who ended up in the pile with me at that party in Arisia are aware. :) (I texted Michael from the bathroom that night. <3)
And that was around when we both became very aware that we were talking around negative space, around the things we dare not say and questions we dare not ask. But we both knew. And more and more, we started admitting it to ourselves. I planned to stay with him and Lynne before and after Wiscon. The chances were high that Things would Happen with both of them. But there were words we couldn't let ourselves actually say.
Until that night in April, when the surface tension ruptured, and I exploded in feels at him the next morning.
As I said in the last post: I walked home from Harvard Square composing wild incoherent declarations of FEELINGS in my head. No matter what I kept telling myself, no matter what restrictions I was trying to put on myself, my heart was wild and wide open and I couldn't - to be silent now was to lie. I was faced with my heart. I could not be silent.
And the next morning I took a deep breath and, on Gchat, I told him everything.
The thing with me and Michael is that we are FEELINGSVOLCANOES. We are passionate, we are full of very intense emotion, we are fast and bright and explodey. So when I dropped everything and said "look, this is what this is," when I was wild and effusive and finally ended my rush of words with "I'm just a being of pure and overwhelming emotion wrapped up in this skin, and I overflow. I think that is all for right now? This is where you say something."
There was the LONGEST PAUSE IN THE HISTORY OF EVER.
And I won't copy/paste his words, because they're his, but he unleashed his story, the story of him falling for me, the story of all of this emotion that he thought there's no way I could reciprocate or not be totally overwhelmed by. Who else has this much emotion?
And he finished, and he told me that this is where I talk again, and I laughed and said "We're so screwed, Michael."
So yeah. :)
And of course through the background of everything, our partners knew and were fine with everything. :) But when Michael and I admitted that we had Great Big Feels, that's when I started really looking at the possibility of me + Lynne, beyond just the crush that I had on her. And when we started chatting, too. :)
And then there was the week of the Boston Marathon bombing.
He was the one who told me about it, actually; he saw the news before I did. We chatted that day, me reassuring him that I was far from the blast and okay, him being my support as I searched social media to make sure the friends I knew were running were okay. (They all were.)
And then that Friday I woke up to news of the lockdown on Watertown. Opened my laptop, posted to social media that yes that's where we live and yes we're okay, and the minute he woke up, pinged him with "don't panic."
I concentrated my online communications to Twitter and a little Facebook - and to him, all day. I don't like guns. There were men with guns all over my streets. We talked about our favorite museums, and about stories from our past, and all the times we were in the same room and hadn't met, and more.
And by dinnertime....
me: Are we dating? :)
Michael: Do you want to be dating me?
Michael: Then yes. :-)
Michael: Dating. :-D
So that's our anniversary. <3 Minimalist? Yes. But there were SWAT teams at the door, you know, and people constantly pinging me on Twitter.
to be continued...