June Spotlight: Anonymous
Updated: Apr 13
Happy pride! This month, one of our good friends submitted a piece about love. Because of the intimate nature of the piece, she didn't want to publish it under her name. We think it's such a beautiful piece of writing and hope you enjoy it.
From the author:
I feel that growing up queer you don't always expect you'll have normal moments of intimacy, so when you reach that in life, it can seem bizarre and overwhelming, but in a good way. This is an experience of that feeling of confusion but also love.
To be honest, I didn’t think you were that beautiful at first. On some level I might have known you were beautiful but you were so beautiful in a way that made you irrelevant to me. I guess that’s a bit selfish but it’s true. Luckily we joke about it now when all I can think about is you. But I must have known you were beautiful on some level even before I admitted it. I found myself doing unusual things, like frequenting the café where you worked. I’d watch you stirring cappuccino foam with intense focus and wonder what you were thinking about. I always knew you were a very intense person. I would sit across the room and try to read a book and drink my coffee in a way that looked distant but inviting. I’m obviously not proud to admit your attractiveness began to dawn on me quickly after you broke up with your first girlfriend.
Or rather, you were dumped by your first girlfriend. I was your friend and so it felt wrong to stare at you making coffee, eyes puffy from last night’s crying. The idea that you could be dumped by anyone seemed mad to me and still does - none the less by someone from New England. I live in constant fear of losing you. I’m every stone on the beach and you’re the stone you find and hold up to the sun and carry around forever because it’s special. Being with you without being afraid is the only thing I want most days.
In the beginning you weren’t sure about us, I think because you were still hurt. But I followed you around a lot, like a puppy. I even followed you to Florence when you got a summer job as a pastry chef at a mysterious villa. You’d wake up at 5am after a crappy sleep in your overheating sauna of an apartment. I’d wake up just before noon to make lunch for you and breakfast for me, killing the time until you returned. Before I got there you had told me your favourite book was Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann and I naively downloaded the 33-hour audiobook before boarding my flight. I only get through two hours of a slow moving saga about some old family before falling asleep. You care immensely about family, I come to learn. I give the audiobook another shot on the jam-packed bus ride to Florence, but I’m too distracted by the prospect of seeing you, and the heat. I never finish Buddenbrooks, but I’m sure it’s great.
We compromise and I read The Penelopiad while you are off kneading bread at work, and I am able to finish this one. It’s disturbing but I enjoy it, as much as anyone can enjoy a book about women destroyed by their husbands. You care about feminism almost as much as you care about family. You talk a lot about existing in the world as a woman in a way that I admire but that also irks me. How could you be so aware and so sure and also so beautiful? It seems unfair. I’m a badly-packaged gender question mark and you’re the archetype of a 1950s housewife. You like baking and knitting and weaving and crafts and Jane Austen and dresses with fitted waists and floral patterns. I sometimes wonder if I should do a better job of looking like a 1950s husband to complete the look. Luckily, I dislike crafts and baking and Austen, but I’ll never like cars or sports or whiskey.
Now I’m standing in our tiny mould-ridden kitchen in a North London council block of one hundred and twenty identical mould-ridden flats. I watch your angular face as you eat toast and read the news on your phone. I run my hand over the dip in your collarbone that catches water when you shower. I do this as if I haven’t already done it three times today. London is colder than Florence. It’s not the coldest place we’ve slept together but it’s the first place we’ve shared a home. Our home is damp and draughty and you buy me slippers to stop my feet from getting cold when I make breakfast. I think I have won something.