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between the lines

*title taken from Sara Bareilles’ “Between the Lines”

            I’m horribly bad with remembering dates. I live in total fear of forgetting someone’s birthday. Or anniversary. So far, I’ve avoided such a calamity, but you know…day ain’t over yet, so to speak. I’m very reliant on the calendar app on my phone. Before that, it was a paper calendar, back in the stone age, before things like cellphones. When I was your age, we…*coughs* Sorry.

Where were you this time, last year? What were you doing? Who were you with? Can you remember? Chances are, if it was important to you – if you were with someone you really love(d), you remember down to the last detail.

I have a good memory. Freakishly so. I may not always remember dates, but words and details? Almost to the letter. This can, occasionally, be unsettling. It is nearly impossible to lie to me, because of it. So, if you do lie, and I don’t say anything or call bullshit? That’s not an accident. It’s choice. But I digress.

This time last year, I know exactly where I was. I can conjure up the memory like a magic trick – the feelings, too. It was an important day for me, because someone I care very deeply about did something so small, but so wonderful. It wasn’t a grand gesture in terms of flowers or public singing. We can’t all be Patrick Verona in 10 things I hate about you. But sometimes, you don’t need that.

You just need someone to show up – to keep a promise. To be unexpectedly present, when it is absolutely inconvenient to do so. There’s a magic in that. I remember that morning being totally blown away by what happened. Not because it wasn’t a genuine or sweet thing. Not because it wasn’t, in a lot of ways, the right thing. I was awestruck, because of what it meant to me – and how it contrasted with the behavior of the past.

The point is, it was really important to me. Because it was a symbol of just how much someone cared. It was, in a way, tangible evidence culled from an intangible thing. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it meant the world to me. It gave me hope and it made me feel loved.

A thousand things have happened since that day. A thousand things will happen from today forward. But there are some moments, some gestures, that measure more than others. For me, that is one of them. And, thinking about it, it reminds me of what’s possible when we dare. Perhaps, too, when we put another person first. There’s really nothing that we can’t do, if we do it with love. If we consider someone before ourselves – it’s a beautiful thing, in our fast-food, me-centric society.

I’m grateful for that day, one year ago. I’m grateful for the fact that my memory is what it is. And, if I’m honest, I’m grateful for that person still. My heart doesn’t change, darlings. Some things are as constant as the ocean. I am one of those things.

What memory do you hold like this? What moment can you keep close, when the world’s uncertain and dark? Where does your heart travel when we sit still? It means something, dear hearts. Remember that.

Now, go find some mistletoe and kiss the person that your heart is asking for. I dare you. I double-dog dare you.

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