Exactly ten years ago, I was sitting on the porch of the main house at Ferry Beach, watching as my companions for the week checked in for our week-long youth advisor training. I watched a woman pull up in her car, get out, and grab a guitar out of the trunk. “Wow,” I thought. “She looks like she might be someone like me.”*
*This is a heavily paraphrased way of saying that my gay-dar starting clanging the instant I saw her.
I noticed her that day, but I really noticed her for the first time the next morning, when she pulled out her guitar and starting playing. She sang her song “Brand New Day,” which continues to be one of my favorites.
Throughout the week, I just kept noticing her. (If you haven’t already caught on, this is The Story of How I Met Weez.) I noticed that she left her flashlight in the common room. I noticed her when four of us went out dancing at a gay bar in Ogonquit. I very much noticed her when we played pool that same night (she used to win trophies at a local club, I learned later.) I noticed that we kept ending up talking together like old friends. I noticed when she didn’t show up for meals, and I noticed where she sat when she did.
Most spectacularly, I noticed her the night a bunch of us went out on the beach because we heard fireworks going off in the distance. We watched for a while, then people started straggling back inside, away from the bugs. After a few minutes, Weez and I were the only ones left on the boardwalk that led over the dunes. While we were standing there, watching the sky together, the biggest shooting star I have ever seen arced across the entire sky.
Throughout all this noticing, it was never (well, almost never) consciously a romantic notice. Our age difference blinded me to what was happening. By the end of the week, though, we were friends. You know how it is at these things, on the last day you exchange emails and say you’ll keep in touch, knowing that you really won’t. I didn’t want to say goodbye to this particular new friend, though. We went for a very long walk on the beach, further than I had walked that week. When we got back, we exchanged emails and said goodbye. And I hugged her like she was my best friend. When I got in my car and drove away, I wanted to cry. “What’s going on?” I asked myself. “You’ve only known this woman a week, why this grief at leaving a friend?”
We met on July 6th, 2002. I was out here in what is now our house for the first time on July 27th, the day we mark as the start of our relationship. And by September 1st, we were engaged. I spent that summer with heart-shaped pupils in my eyes, my feet never touching the ground.
Ten years later, I still feel the same way. I love you, my best friend, my beloved, my soul-mate, my Weez. Thank you for showing up that day.