Despite the warnings that winter, in the form of a Nor'easter, was to yet again rear its ugly head today, the only thing that reminded us winter is here today was the windy chill sweeping through midtown.
So tonight, despite the warnings that the storm was incoming, and confirmation from a friend stuck in a storm in DC (presumably the same one that is visiting NYC sometime soon), I was busy cleaning dishes in the kitchen when I looked up and was surprised to see the snow.
Almost hypnotic in its semi-random, semi-patterned drift, I popped the back window to take an unfettered peek at the flakes as they made crunching sounds as they landed. Within minutes my back windows went from ventilation to a gateway to my back courtyard, which, when it snows, embodies a private winter wonderland, replete with foliage, sodium gas streetlights and little else.
Once my hypnotized gaze had its fill, I answered a ringing phone -- Kaia on the other line, on her way from work to a meeting. I told her what was happening and she & I quickly reminisced about New Year's Eve 2005 (not this past, but the one before) in which we woke up to a surprise snowfall. Between that and tomorrow being Valentine's Day, we dispensed with the normally-expressed mutual sentiments about how shitty it is we won't be seeing each other until mid-March and continued on with our conversation.
I also let her know -- after a bit of prodding from her -- that I came home to a large box from her, and apologized for not getting her anything this year. Of course, tomorrow, when 1-800-Flowers arrives with goodies (and flowers -- duh!) for her, she'll knowingly laugh. She knows me too well to think -- even for a second -- that I would gloss over a chance for me to tell her how much I love her. As much as she loves getting flowers -- and I enjoy getting them for her -- I think we'd both prefer to spend the holiday together. But while our feelings for each other have only deepened with time, I think we both know that until she's here full-time, calendar holidays are secondary for the most part. For us, holidays are days which allow us to wake up late together, order in or prep breakfast together, spend time with each other, and then going out in the afternoon or evening just because.
In other words, Valentine's Day -- at least over the last several years -- has been a bit difficult. After spending a few miserable Valentine's Day holidays with The Freak, I've actually found myself in a place where every day with Kaia is good, even after all this time (like 27 months is so long). The irony is somewhat jarring -- after having spent Valentine's Day with The Freak, so fucked up that she pouted when the lavender roses I got her were the wrong color, I figured I would always have some deep-seated repulsion to this holiday. And yet, despite my other half being on the opposite coast, I'm still looking forward to tomorrow, as much -- if not moreso -- than I looked forward to yesterday or today. It's just that I'm looking forward to her making her way back to New York, or me heading out to San Fran -- more than the day the calendar dictates we celebrate our feelings for each other. So until she's a permanent fixture in NYC, we'll just reschedule it -- so in theory I shouldn't be looking forward to the day at all.
I guess that it's the promise -- of seeing her soon, of knowing where we are and where we're going, and where we've both been -- that sometime soon, everything will be back to normal and we'll go forward. And before that, knowing she's out there and we found each other and that next year I'll be able to wake her up on Valentine's Day by rubbing her shoulders rather than dialing her number.
I like Valentine's Day, no matter where it happens to fall on the calendar.