Someday You Will Be Loved

I remember the first time someone asked us how we fell in love.

“I fell into those eyes and didn’t want to find my way out again.” Mark responded, “Booger’s not so sure about all the love bullshit, though. But I’m going to keep going ’til he is sure.”

He was right, I wasn’t sure. To be clear, it wasn’t that I didn’t know if I loved him. It was that knowing him made me realize that I didn’t even understand what love was. I’d been in a beautiful, committed relationship with two wonderful men who I felt undeniable affection for. But after feeling what Mark brought to the table, it made me wonder if I’d ever felt love before, and the thought of it sent shockwaves of panic through my entire body.

We weren’t a match on paper. He loved heavy metal and rugby, I was into indie music and anything other than sports. I wasn’t even his type. He earned the nickname Beartrap for a reason. But something just worked when we were together. I still can’t explain it all these years later.

He made me feel comfortable baring my soul. I could tell him about all my brokenness and how I’d been raised to understand that I was unlovable, and all he would do is pull me close.

“They were either stupid or scared that you’d outgrow them if you knew the truth. They lied to you. You are loved and when you give yourself permission to feel it, god help anyone who gets in your path.”

The first time I told Mark I loved him, we were on the crowded subway headed back to my apartment. He gave me a Cheshire Cat grin and proceeded to rip the loudest, most obnoxious fart I’d ever heard. As the sound reverberated off the fiberglass seat and everyone in the car looked our way, Mark stood up.

“Oh my god Michael, you’re so disgusting! How could you do that in front of all these people? You’re so gross!”

When the doors opened at the next stop, I practically ran up the stairs and out to the street. It took him nearly a block to catch up to me. He was out of breath and still laughing hysterically when he draped his arm over my shoulder.

“You can punch me in the dick if you want.”

“Why would I do that? I like your dick. Your dick didn’t embarrass me in front of half of New York City. That was your mouth.”

“Don’t punch me in the mouth. Then it would hurt and we couldn’t kiss and make up.”

“The idea of making you hurt is not the deterrent you might think it is right now.”

“Ooooh! Hurt me, Boogerbear! Hurt me real good!”

I couldn’t hold out any longer. I laughed so hard I snorted. Mark leaned over and kissed the top of my head.

“See? You can’t stay mad at me, because you loooooooove meeeeee.”

I stopped in my tracks and looked up into his face and felt dizzy.

“I love you,’trap.”

We stood in the middle of the sidewalk and held each other for a minute before making our way home.

“But you’re still gonna hurt me, right? Grrrrrr and stuff.”