This is a Love Letter


I want to write you a beautiful, poetic letter detailing every single reason why I love you, but sometimes in trying to be beautiful and poetic, the most important parts of what I want to say are lost. I promise down the road I’ll give you something beautiful. For now, though, here’s an average letter from an average girl who loves you deeply.

Let me start by telling you this– you’re fucking gorgeous. Like really, super pretty. Let’s be honest, that’s why I hit the “I want to meet you” button on that stupid dating app. That mirror picture of you holding your hair back? I was so into it. I’m still into it. I saved it on my phone and I look at it when we’re not together, and I feel the same longing I felt the very first time I saw it.

When we are together, I stare at you like I’m some kind of creep because I still can’t believe I get to kiss you and touch you and fall asleep next to you. And when we wake up in the morning and your hair is falling out of your ponytail and you try to hide your face and tell me you look disgusting, my stomach does this little summersault because I swear to God each day you are more beautiful than you were the day before.

When I tell you you’re beautiful, I’m not just talking about your perfect body or all things physical. I’m also talking about your mind, and the way it’s on a constant quest for knowledge; I already see things differently because of you. I’m talking about the way you would do anything for your friends, the way you love your family, and the many ways you show me you love me– none of those things go unnoticed, I promise. I’m talking about the way your laugh is magic, the way you love animals, and the way you don’t speak poorly of people you know, even if they hurt you. You radiate goodness, Tina. I’ve never met anyone else who shines like you.

There are a lot of firsts in my relationship with you. Most importantly, this is the first time I’ve ever connected with someone else’s heart, and it’s intense and intimidating and so magnificent. (If no one else ever understands this, I know you always will). This is also the first time I’ve been shown such a magnitude of respect and admiration, and God I’m so glad it’s from you, because there is no one on this earth I respect more. And this is the first time I’ve ever spoken freely around anyone, without fear or hesitation. My mind is no longer writing a script before I speak. I’ve never felt so at ease; accepted and understood. There are not enough ways to thank you for that.

Thanks for being a cool girl and making me chase you a little in the beginning. I love you for that, too, and I hope you know I will chase you forever, should your ego ever need another boost. I hope it won’t, though–I want to make sure it’s never bruised again. I want you to know how highly I think of you and how much I care about you. Every. Single. Day. Because I love that you aren’t afraid to be who you are, and give no fucks about what anyone else thinks. I love that you were brave enough to end something really big and really good to be yourself and find exactly what you wanted. Your authenticity is rare, and I love it. I just love you. I love you so fucking much.

Thanks for showing up now. I know we came from the same place, and I know we will be together again when we get to the next one, but I’m stoked to be sharing this time with you now. I’m stoked to get a place and make it ours, and be your wife, and hold your hand in public forever. For the trips we will take and the movies we’ll see and the grocery shopping and the arguments and abundance of laughter and all of the joy we will leave wherever we go.

You’re the coolest person I know. I’m so lucky to love you.




Worth the 32 Year Wait

Everyone has always said to me, “When you meet the right person, you’ll know.”
I held on to this advice, and in the past I tried to convince myself that other people were the right ones. I tried to trick myself into the “knowing.”
It never worked. There was always a part of me that thought maybe I was settling, but I told myself I was being selfish.

“You can’t have it all,” I’d think.

But you can, and I know this now because I do. I genuinely have it all.

I love a woman who loves me fiercely and shows it. A woman who is close to her family– her accepting, loving family–whose nephews call me “Aunt Ali” and make my heart sing. My family loves her. Even my mom acknowledges her as my partner, instead of just a friend. That’s never happened before, but maybe Mom always knew I hadn’t found the right one yet.

She doesn’t mind moving the mattress to the living room floor for a slumber party because I think it will be fun. She is wickedly intelligent, and opens my mind to all kinds of new things to which I’d never previously given any thought. She’s wild, and restless, and on a constant quest for knowledge. She makes me feel like I am the best thing in the world… and for her, I want to be.  More than anything, though, she’s familiar. Like an extension of myself I never knew I was missing. I’m sorry, I don’t think it can be adequately described. It must be felt.

When you meet the right person, you know. Loving them is instant and effortless, and the thought of a future without them is agonizing, not just a little bit scary. I knew her before I met her, in all of my lives before this one. And when we get to the next place, there’s no doubt we’ll find each other there, too.  This is what it’s like. This is the “knowing.”

I hope everyone gets to know.

19 days.

Since she kissed me, I haven’t had to take a pill to sleep at night, or make my hands stop shaking during the day.

She calls me Ali, like everyone familiar. I hear her tell her family about me while she’s on the phone (and I’m in the living room, listening for her laugh.)

We haven’t been in a car together, or been in the world at all. We are enjoying this phase to the fullest, with no distractions from the outside world. We talk. We laugh. We sleep.

I sleep. I sleep with her next to me like she’s been there forever. And when I trace her face with my fingertips, my hands are still.

That’s important.


We’re Ready.

I went to breakfast with a woman on New Years Eve, and this weekend I found myself sitting in the same spot on her couch for two and a half days.

I admitted things to her I never wanted to say out loud, and she called me baby in a way that felt like I’d known her for years. We talked about God and past lives, and she touched me like she had the blueprint to my body. There were hours of intense conversation that seemed to span years, and moments of complete silence in which we did nothing but stare out the window looking at the trees.

Neither of us want to be put in a box and expected to grow. That’s important. She’s a true Sagittarius like me, and we both want to do everything, including relationships, a little differently.  These conversations wouldn’t have happened with her a year ago– I’m not who I was then, and I’m not going to stay who I am now.

“I want being in a relationship with me to open doors for you, not close them.”

Thank you for getting it. 


The Fourteenth

I’ve lost the little black notebook in which I chronicled the ups and downs of our years long relationship. It’s probably for the best.

I documented every emotional breakdown. Every dream, every nightmare. I saved bits of paper that meant something. Flower petals, perfume sample cards from Sephora, Metro cards and fortunes. It was as much a story of where I had been and who I used to be as it was of love.

I’m not sure where I left it. It was one of my few possessions which made it to Ohio with me when I moved back from the Carolinas. I made sure to bring it with me, only to haphazardly leave it sitting on a table in a coffee shop, or a bench in the park. I only realized it was gone last night, when I was feeling all of the feelings and wanted to write them down in a place no one else would ever see them.

I hope whoever found it read every word. That would make its loss a little easier to swallow– knowing someone else got to peek in through the window of happiness and anguish.  The window of what will forever be the best of times, even when they were the worst.

It’s time to start over.


The Twelfth and The Thirteenth

Please do not have a child if you’re just setting them up for failure.
Please don’t bring them into the nothing from which you came.


I wish someone would have said this to my parents.


The Eleventh.

I know it’s easier to give up than it is to understand, and sometimes I think that’s why I’ll be alone forever.

It’s ok…

I’m guilty of giving up, too.


The Tenth.

By the time I got to work, it had started to snow.
I wasn’t ready for winter yet, but I guess seasons don’t wait.

I stayed for an hour. I came home and slept for four. I talked to someone I’m not sure about yet. Now I’m wide awake, making a new playlist, and it’s still cold.

Winter is a drag.
I want sunshine and sweat and lush foliage forever.
There are a lot of things I want,
and all of them are just as unattainable.

Clair de Lune by Flight Facilities still makes me cry, no matter what season it is.
It’s something that probably won’t ever change, but that’s ok.
I don’t want it to.


The Eighth and the Ninth.

You send me updates for events happening in a city I no longer live in, and I listen to the playlist I started making when we were in love and finished making when we weren’t.

I want you to be my wedding date, so I ask you. But the language is different and I think you think I’m joking. I’m not. Not even a little bit.

I’m not inviting you because I think we will fall in love again, or pick up where we left off. I’m just asking to share the same space with the only person who knows me inside and out.  I’m asking because I think you might need that too, and this is how we can love each other now.

I hope you’ll join me.


The Seventh.

She would always drink on the patio.
With music playing loud enough for the neighbors to complain,
she would sit in a chair with cigarettes and beer
for hours.

I would hide in the bedroom,
door closed,
TV on loud enough to drown out her music and complaints.
(Usually it was Game of Thrones,
because it was easier to lose myself in fantasy
than accept my reality.)

I’d fall asleep eventually, or pretend to.
Over the rumble of dragons, I would always hear the patio door slide closed,
her heavy footsteps down the hall,
her raspy voice slurring my name.

I knew what was going to happen, but I did nothing.
Fear can paralyze you, and
I knew if I fought, I would lose.

“Babe, wake up. I want to fuck you.”

The covers were ripped off of me, but I was shaking long before that.
And then a woman twice my size was on top of me, and there was nothing I could do but say, “No.”



I don’t want this.

Please just let me sleep.

My tears held no value. Sometimes they were mocked,
but usually they were ignored.
So I would disappear
into my head, into a world
with a mother of dragons
and people who were strong enough to fight for what they believed in.

A girl has no name.
This can’t be me, can it?

I would count down the minutes until she would pass out.
But I would always say no–
it was the only power I had.
And when it was finally over,
I always felt so small.
So powerless.
But I could close my eyes and dream of the day
I would find my strength,
and become a Khaleesi.


This is something I wrote, inspired by the “me too” movement, about a horribly abusive relationship I was in. A relationship with a woman who repeatedly took advantage of me and showed no remorse. It’s still rape, even if you’re dating, and sexual assault within the LGBTQ community is real, too.