You Changed My Life
I met you on a seemingly banal evening. It was a warm weekend, somewhere in July, the peak of British summertime. I'd spent the afternoon running errands in ripped denim: collecting medication refills; cutting keys for the family home; buying mosquito repellant for holidays; working up a sweat under my fringe and a thick knot in my head. By the time you came along, I was half as cute as when I'd left the house. (I call that Bad Timing.) But things always seem to work out that way, don't they? We meet the most important people in the most irrelevant moments. And, yet, the hour and half you gave me probably changed my life.
"Wait, what. Hold up! Girl, what did you just say?" Hush. Listen. Yeah I said it. Fuck it now, I know what I'm about. Let's be honest for a hot minute. We — the royal we? the millennial we? — are so afraid of catching feelings, we'd rather catch The Clap. We — okay, definitely the millennial we — are so afraid we'll get caught up or caught out, we push our feelings that far into ourselves we eventually just end up shitting them out. "You changed my life" sounds so heavy, you'd think it was destined for caps locks.
"YOU CHANGED MY LIFEEEE!" John's ex-girlfriend bellowed, her voice rolling down the altar. The guests stared. "Who is this wedding crasher?" Linda the long-lost aunt from Perth, Australia mumbled, "I mean, I know the priest always says 'speak now or forever hold your peace,' but really, Grace, I think this is an abhorrent misuse of an age-old formality." Grace agreed. It was all very dramatic.
"YOU CHANGED MY LIFE," Stanley howled. "STELLAAAAA!" A street car rattled past. A bottle clinked down the street. Two six-year-old kids with dominos turned their heads. "That guy," Sonny said, "he's really into her." His friend Jackson nodded, "I guess that's what happens when someone changes your life, man."
Alright, so maybe Grace is right, it's all very dramatic. But does it have to be? What is your "life"? Tangled up in this opportunity-friendly, super-digital, hyper-hypenhated internet universe, we secretly heat up at the idea that we can do anything. To us, "life" can be swimming the English Channel, successfully cross-breeding a pug and a sheep, and sucking Dan Blizerian's dick on a yacht. (Okay, maybe those are just some of my life dreams. But Dan—call me.) Either way, I'm pretty sure that real life isn't made up of those things — Real Life © is so much smaller than that. And I don't think that's a bad thing. I know for sure that the best stuff is rooted in those little moments: building sandcastles with your baby cousin, cocktails with your girlfriends on a balmy evening, hearing a light buzz on your cellphone and it's a text from someone you really, really like.
So fuck what Aunt Linda from Perth, Australia thinks. Let me burst through windows and walls and doors to deliver a message: Honey, you've changed my life. Because this is my life, right here and right now: me on the balcony, as always, smoking a cigarette. This is my life and my daily grind: working incessantly at a laptop (thinking of you); talking to my best friend on the phone (talking about you); drinking coffee with my mother (still talking about you); visiting the dentist (okay can't talk, getting a filling). That is my life, and you've changed it. In between all those little things, you filled in the blanks. Blanks so wide and bottomless, I can't believe I didn't notice them. Blanks so wide and lonely, I wonder how I left my life so empty and open. Blanks so, so wide, you filled them in, filled them all, with a crimson so, so deep I could swim in it.
You are the warmest colour.