This Independence Day, I’m celebrating the complete reliance I have on relationships. There is no greater gift than connecting deeply and meaningfully with people, communities, and places we call home. Even the people, communities, and places we visit.
It’s a gift I’ve received early and forgotten about often as I’ve grown up, independent. And now single in a city full of ideals and realism, a continuum of tension brought on by opposites attracting, I am evermore dependent on finding stability. Where I once saw opportunity for creativity, I am now tired by the thought of sheer effort it takes to even be heard.
“Ross, are you kidding me?!” my friend said to the man sitting across from me. We had just met earlier. He was a friend of her friend, another man she was trying to set me up with. I was interested in neither, mostly because they both talked about themselves.
“Are you for real right now?!” she said again. “This conversation started 15 minutes ago and you still haven’t asked her a single question.”
I laughed out loud. “THANK YOU!!” I said to my friend. “Right?! I mean, no offense to you,” I turned to Ross, “but really??”
I felt bad for him. I realized I gave him more confidence than I should have when I said, “Oh you have a Ph.D. in economics? That’s badass.” He was doomed from the start. He started talking about game theory and Nash equilibrium and “smart” things I didn’t understand. But I didn’t care. I cared that he didn’t ask me any questions.
Never mind the other friend, the real guy I was supposed to be interested in. He was a writer and clipped a pen in the open buttons of his polo shirt. Writers are fucking weird, I thought. He was funny and entertaining and loved to debate with you by tilting his head, leaning over the table, and looking at you with only one eye while squinting the other. He asked dumb questions.
It didn’t matter. Neither of them were 6’2″ and I doubt they could throw a football. I’ve let the game go, in hopes of finding more intrinsic beauty beyond the brain and brawn.
I’m looking for the bread and the knife, the crystal goblet and the wine.
Two separate things that go together, make it. It’s a gift to have a declaration of dependence with one another. Like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Cross my heart.