“Being in a relationship is an easy yet complicated process.” This is what Christie started our conversation with.
“At first it’s easy because there’s no checklist yet. There are no rules – you’re soaked in this, this unshakeable high. But then, once you get comfortable with the other person, a checklist emerges, and all of a sudden you find yourself looking at your lover and asking, ‘Do they fulfill my checklist?’ and in turn, they’re looking straight back at you and asking the exact same thing.” She played with her fork a little bit. “But then, but then it gets much more complicated. Because the checklist changes, because people change.”
“So when it comes to love or any kind of relationship, checklists can like, come and ruin everything.”
“That’s an odd way of seeing things.”
“So what’s your checklist of me?” I asked her.
“Are we in a relationship?” She smiled.
“Once upon a time I wrote down exactly who I wanted to be with on a piece of paper.”
“So did I.”
This amused me. “So we both have checklists.”
“I guess so.”
“Can’t you say these checklists are ruining our lives?”
“I wouldn’t say ‘ruin’.”
“Is your checklist different now?”
Christie took my hand and then took me to a church. The church wasn’t the same as the types of churches I grew up seeing in the movies. The church had rock music, and people would sing for long stretches of time, some speaking in tongues, and the guy in the middle, the pastor, would speak in the same way Obama would speak. I looked at Christie singing with the other people. Her eyes were closed and her hands were high and she was smiling and she reminded me of someone I was once in love with.
On the drive to Christie’s, at a red light, I asked her something I suddenly thought about: “Why do women say ‘Oh my God’ during orgasms?”
Book I’m reading: Love in the Time of Cholera