Blessings from the stars 

What does it feel like to be in love? 

I often asked myself this question as a child. I pictured a sharp but sweet electricity coursing through my veins, a high that levitated me into the stars. I pictured an uncontrollable spasm that gave my lips a life of its own, constantly lifting into a smile without command. It must feel like gulping down my favorite breakfast- bacon and grits- while laying in bed on a Saturday morning watching cartoon reruns. It has got to feel like hearing the ice cream truck pull into your neighborhood while playing in the park. 

But what did I know -it could have felt  like a number of things. 

What does it look like? 

I would examine the relationships in my family and the question remained. My mom was a single mother. I had never even seen her kiss a man that wasn’t family or elderly. That left me with what they showed in movies and read in books. 

 What does it sound like?

It has gotta sound like your favorite album or curated playlist, or like a million fireworks all going off at one time. Maybe it sounds like sizzling bacon in the morning or the bell that means its time for recess. I loved those sounds. What does it taste like? Well, as it turns out, I have learned years later that being in love can taste like many things. For example, it can taste like cheap soda and cinnamon glazed fried dough. 

. . .

He turned off the engine and the headlights went out. The darkness filled the Chevy, but the screen at the end of the lot was bright enough that I could still make out his beautiful features. His olive skin, his thick, dark eyebrows, his soft eyes, his full parted lips, were all mine to soak in. His sweet scent danced around my nose along with the aroma of fried dough and mozzarella sticks. His hand rested on his jeans, the other on top of the $5 radio that sat nicely on top of the dashboard.

Upon noticing that I was caught in a daze, his cheeks rose and his lips curled up, exposing his bright teeth. I couldn’t help but return the smile he so graciously bestowed on me. I could feel my blood rush to my cheeks as he asked; “You ready?” 

I nodded eagerly then leaned in to plant a kiss on those pink, full lips. I’m almost certain he didn’t mean was I ready to make out. And yet, when we connected I felt his energy reciprocate mine as it had done countless times before. It would’ve taken me way longer to pull back, if his hand on the radio didn’t turn the knob that connected it to the screen a few yards away. The Halloween theme music erupted through the truck and we laughed as it pulled us back into the present. We weren’t alone, in fact we shared the lot with several other cars at the drive-in, but he had this magical way of making me feel like it was just us, and only us. 

I had never imagined I could feel so serene, so content the way I felt the night. After all, we were in my mom’s car, eating cheap concession food, watching a movie that was released in 1978. I had homework waiting for me after the weekend ended, and his job caused us to miss almost half of the movie. And yet, I could never mistake the feeling that swayed in my stomach and warmed my veins. It was love and it was unconditional. 

The movie ended and he, being the man of my dreams, said, “babe, we have to get out and look at the stars out here.” I didn’t think twice about it. After a few more kisses were exchanged, we were outside of the truck in minutes. The headlights from other cars flickered on us like spotlights. Some cars began to leave while others moved closer to the screen for the second movie. The cold air tickled my ears but I couldn’t care less. We walked a few feet, hand in hand, then looked up together. My jaw basically fell to the floor. 

Now it wasn’t my first time witnessing a starry night sky, but it was breathtaking just as before. It looked like swarms of fireflies, moving ever so slightly, some still, all communicating to us through the light sent down to reach our eyes. A river of stars. A field of twinkling flowers. The longer I looked up, the harder it was for me to look away. Then I felt his body pressing into my back, ever so gently, and I was able to rest my head on his chest. The contact sent me into a state of heated bliss and I felt the blood rush to my cheeks all over again. 

And that’s when it hit me. For me, love simply was his raw energy that washed over me along with the millions of silent blessings from the watching stars.

 I wanted nothing more than to stretch that moment out forever. But that’s the beautiful thing about moments, they don’t last forever. Like the stars, they burn up. Then another moment comes to fill its place. Before you know it, you have this massive array of twinkling moments on the roof of your mind. Some shine brighter than others but when you step back, it’s nothing short of one great marvel. 

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