San Francisco, Pier 39, Sept 2018

At the center of it all, when everything else is processed and parsed, it really comes down to this. You accept me. I know it’s an odd word to use to describe love; so far away from passion, commitment, kindred ideas, patience, kindness, friendliness, shared goals for the future, long-suffering. But this is the thing I love most about you. That you accept me for who I am.

And this acceptance, more than anything, requires knowing me. It’s hard to accept someone you don’t know, hard to lean into something that might give way. But you know me.

And this acceptance isn’t synonymous with being agreeable. That mask can only last so long, though our masks are what we choose them to be. You are formidable when you take a stance; when you dissent and resist; when you fight against the harmony of it all; when you convey that sense of commitment to me. You don’t lose yourself, but rather share your vulnerabilities and fears. You bring them to the harvest table to be consumed with mine.

I crave those Counting Crows conversations, when the lights move about the room and the music comes from the darkness. We hope and dream; heartsick and panic-verged. We listen to the ghost whisperer in the speakeasy; telling stories of bones together, chalky and white, resting eternally in the Caveaux. I think about us, mixing our contemplations and truth together, Palmer and Gaiman style, no bed song here for us.

You know me. My passions and appetites, worries and fears. You know my grandest moments and most catastrophic slides. Fallen Azazel, hand on your throat. Candlelight and sand; those lingering moments. Deep passion and quick anger, the fox bites when he is cornered.

You know I accept too quickly. I love too quickly. You know that about me, watching the girls in their summer dresses.

And that, in a roundabout way, is what I’m saying. Your acceptance of me, a faith in who I am. This is what I love about you. A willingness to stay by me; to tolerate me at my best and cherish me at my worst.

This is the thing I love about you.