Because I can't do much of anything for a while, Dan and Steve left me at the mouth of a forest in Cloverdale yesterday morning while they went in for a hike. It was on a nearby bench that I turned over the final pages of David Levithan's heart-breaking yet hope-making Two Boys Kissing.
Typically I narrow my favorite book passages to five or ten for posts like this, but because TBK was so fraught with phrases that sucker-punched me right smack dab in my feelz, I'm gonna stash all of my highlights below.
He has no idea how beautiful the ordinary becomes once it disappears.
You will miss the taste of Froot Loops. You will miss the sound of traffic. You will miss your back against his. You will even miss him stealing the sheets. Do not ignore these things.
Love is so painful, how could you ever wish it on anybody? And love is so essential, how could you ever stand in its way?
Things are not magical because they've been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them, and then deem them so.
Ignorance is not bliss. Bliss is knowing the full meaning of what you have been given.
Not all songs need to be for dancing.
There is nothing so heartening as a chance.
There's always something new to learn about the person you love.
Doubt is an acceptable risk for happiness.
The first sentence of the truth is always the hardest. Each of us had a first sentence, and most of us found the strength to say it out loud to someone who deserved to hear it. What we hoped, and what we found, was that the second sentence of the truth is always easier than the first, and the third sentence is even easier than that. Suddenly you are speaking the truth in paragraphs, in pages. The fear, the nervousness, is still there, but it is joined by a new confidence. All along, you've used the first sentence as a lock. But now you find it's the key.
"I like whatever it is that makes you the person you are."
"This right now is a world I can live in."
There are all these moments you don't think you will survive. And then you survive.
"With some people, the minute you start talking, it feels like you've known them for years. It only means that you were supposed to meet sooner. You're feeling all the time you should've known each other, but didn't. That time still counts. You can definitely feel it."
This is what we don't admit about first kisses: One of the most gratifying things about them is that they are proof, actual proof, that the other person wants to kiss us. We are desirable. We desire. Every kiss that matters contains recognition at its core.
If you let the world in, you open yourself up to the world. Even if the world doesn't know that you're there.
"I'm sorry," he says. "I don't usually like people. So when I do, part of me is really amused and the other part refuses to believe it's happening."
There are so many minutes and hours and days we spend taking life for granted, not feeling it so much as going along with it. But then there are moments like this, when the aliveness of life is crystalline, palpable, undeniable. It is the ultimate buoy against drowning. It is the ever-saving grace.
How Beautiful the Ordinary.