Dear First Love

Hello Mr. Magazine - - LOVE AND LET GO - By Conor Patrick Ho­gan

How much longer till we meet? It’s been 25 years now and I’ve waited pa­tiently. I thought maybe in high school we’d be sit­ting in a mu­tual friends’ base­ment, play­ing N64 and wast­ing time. You’d rub my in­ner thigh, dis­creetly. We’d end up sneak­ing into the bath­room to­gether when no one was look­ing and share our first messy kiss. You’d get freaked out a week later and call me, fright­ened, ask me not to tell any­one. You’d say it was just a tem­po­rary lapse in judg­ment. I’d ride my bike all the way to your house, dead of night (maybe through rain­fall?), des­per­ate for you to give me a chance. You’d help me sneak in. We’d cud­dle all night and many nights af­ter that…

I thought maybe in col­lege I’d be on the set for one of my short films, to­tally stress­ing out, when you’d walk in, hold­ing some gear. You’d give me a grin – a know­ing one, def­i­nitely sig­nif­i­cant – the type that says, “I can tell you work hard. You’re at­trac­tive AND re­spon­si­ble. Let’s get dirty to­gether.” And we would. I’d get you drunk at the wrap party by mak­ing sure I am in top form dur­ing our beer pong games. We’d go 11-0, but quit be­cause we were both a lit­tle too toasty. Back at my apart­ment, we’d chris­ten the re­la­tion­ship in a drunken, but ro­man­tic, stu­por. We’d be more “adult” than our high school selves – we’d dis­cuss Mu­rakami over cof­fee and Proust over wine. I’d help as you vi­su­al­ize your silly Ko­dak photo col­lages and you’d cheer for me dur­ing my broom­ball team’s even sil­lier games. You’d hold my hand in pub­lic and I, for the first time, wouldn’t be afraid about it…

I thought maybe in Los Angeles I’d be at a bar look­ing lonely and out of place, with my non­de­signer jeans and wrin­kled t-shirt. Your friends would sneer and make fun, but you’d see that I was new to town, just fig­ur­ing things out, un­sure of how things worked in the club scene. You’d take me shop­ping, in­tro­duce me to a sense of style. Af­ter spend­ing a few weeks prac­ti­cally in­sep­a­ra­ble, you’d plan a spe­cial evening – like a ro­man­tic din­ner in wine coun­try. You’d ca­ress my hand and tell me that you want to take the next step. Nei­ther of us would know ex­actly what that is in the “bright lights, big city” of LA. But we’d fig­ure it out to­gether, have each other’s back and re­main faith­ful…

I kept think­ing, but you never showed up. And now I’m start­ing to worry. That if I were to keel over and die this very minute, I would die with­out ever hav­ing fallen in love. With­out ever hav­ing met you. I sup­pose it’s also quite pos­si­ble that not ev­ery­one truly falls in love. It fright­ens me, though, to think I may never have a com­pan­ion the way my par­ents have one an­other. The mu­tual sup­port; the way they lightly ar­gue in the front seat about which route to take; the late night, front porch kisses while they take in the laughs of their kids run­ning around the neigh­bor­hood and watch light­ning bugs glow in the sub­ur­ban dark­ness. I want that one day. Very badly.

So let’s prom­ise each other this right now: we’re go­ing to ex­er­cise more, take bet­ter care of our hy­giene, and make sure to in­gest all our vi­ta­mins. Be­cause we want each other in prime shape for that stars-align­ing night when we hold one an­other in our arms for the first time. It may not hap­pen the way we imag­ine it to, but I’m cer­tain when it does it will be per­fect.

Keep you’re eyes open for me. I know you’re out there some­where. Hope­fully, Yours

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