Tonight, I saw one of my Bellingham crushes. I treasure my crushes. I pretend that they are secret, but my boyfriend knows. My friends know. Anyone standing near me when that boy walks by is sure to know. What does it mean to be headed toward my mid-thirties and still swooning over a handsome gent with a great smile?
Perhaps what I like most about my crushes is that they are safe. Most often the gentleman in question is heterosexual. Often, these men are people that I have a passing, friendly acquaintance with. Straight men be forewarned. Your worst nightmare is true. There is a gay man who is hot for you.
These infatuations change with the seasons and with my mood. In the fall Mr. X will cause my ears to burn, but by spring I have moved on. I like that they are temporary. I can have multiple crushes at once. Keeping open to new possibilities is one way that I know I am still alive.
Every February I send out valentines with terrible poems on them. One of my thrills is sending them to my secret crushes. They asked for it–literally. I only send the valentines out to those who sign up. No one is forced to give me their home address.
I come across as a cynical and jaded, but I love being in love. Beneath this hard exterior is…well some sharp thorns and barbed words, but THEN you might find an anemic and shriveled romantic.
I dislike St. Valentine’s Day on principle. I hate how crowded restaurants get and the growing pressure to express your love. I am uncomfortable with how much cultural expectation I have managed to absorb and how often I am disappointed by the reality of this holiday. It never turns out right. Not like I picture it my head with the soft lighting and dreamy smiles. Scented candles almost always give me a headache.
I started writing poems because I fell in love with words and what language can do on the page. I continued writing because it opened me up to the world and to the life that was happening around me. Poetry keeps me open to new possibilities.
What brought you to the keyboard or page and what keeps you there?