Very often after a night of drinking, I will awake the next morning at some ungodly hour of dark o'clock. Usually I manage to get back to sleep after desperately chugging a glass of water or two, but this morning my eyes sprang open and stayed there. My body and my mind fought an epic battle, with my mind saying, "Hey, here I am! Wide awake!", while my body groaned, "No you're not; go back to sleep."
"Ha! Sleep is for suckers!" replied my mind gleefully. "Anyway, who needs sleep when you can thiiiiiink?" And suddenly, overwhelmed by a rush of happy chemicals, my body softened its stance, and said, "Well, ok. Maybe just this once..." And so I lay there smiling, body and mind, as the sky through the slats in the blinds warmed to a pale, morning gray. I didn't immediately realize why I was so happy; I had, after all, just awoken from a dream in which I realized that the food that I was eating was laced with shards of broken glass. (An idea which, it turns out, is just as stomach-turningly revolting in dream form as I imagine it would be in real life.) So then, what was it? And then suddenly it all came back to me:
Last night. Trivia. He was there. We played on separate teams, with our different sets of friends, with half-intentioned whispered promises to share answers, double agent-style. In the end, none of us came close to winning the whole thing, but my team did edge his out by one point, a fact I delighted in, and all thanks to--I don't want to say it--well, me, and the lucky fact that apparently I read a lot of books about baby animals as a kid. (What's the word for a baby swan?*) After the game, the rest of our respective teams scattered, and I joined him in a booth, he put his arm around me, I leaned my head against his shoulder, and we talked. He kissed me on the cheek. I tickled his back. Internet, he got my Ally McBeal reference. I'm still reeling. At the end of the night we shared our second good-night kiss so far, and, granted, it may have been the alcohol, but I was positively dizzy.
After a months-long winter slump, of dark, gray days spent not wanting to get out of bed, with no dating prospects, no distractions, and no social life to speak of, I am surprised by how good it feels to be excited about something again. And no, I'm not just talking about a someone, but about an everything. About possibilities. I'm making plans for next year, for my future, for myself, and I already feel a little less lost. I know what I want. I know what my goals are. I know how long it will take me to get there. Yeah, I wish I was already there, like, now, but I know that I will get there eventually. It won't even take that long, in the scheme of things. One year, two, and I am on my way.
Things are changing. I would never dare tempt fate and describe myself as happy, but for now, at least, I am smiling. It may be 35 degrees and raining out today, and the trees may not have yet started to bloom, but it is suddenly, without a doubt, once again spring.
*A cygnet, mutha wah wah!!!