All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Memory 01: First Glances

First glanceThe first thing I noticed about Samantha as she sauntered into the brightly lit bar was the same thing I’d noticed when I’d first encountered her nine months earlier; her absolute love of colour. Back then it had been her dress; as deep a red as you can imagine, a red verging on the colour of what gives life to us all. But on this day, as she stood in the doorway furtively looking around the room, I could see that green was her colour of choice; from her finely embroided dark green skirt (which I would find out later was one of her own creations) to her light-green, thinly woven woolen sweater, everything about her screamed of forest nymph; those delightful faerie-esque creatures that dance and frolic in the woodlands all over Scotland.

To counter the nip in the air, a multi-coloured woolen scarf was draped elegantly over her left shoulder and, to compliment the scarf, a patchwork bag of many colours was hanging over her right shoulder. Much like the skirt, I would find out later in the day that both of these were also of her creation; the bag for a school-project and the scarf as a means to give her something to do during the long, dark winters.

To finish off her outfit she was wearing a pair of black and purple striped tights that disappeared up her skirt to regions I could clearly remember from our night in Adelaide and a pair of bright red canvas shoes.

Lost for words, my eyes met hers across the crowded bar and her saunter turned to a light jog that ended, somewhat clumsily courtesy of my anxiety, as she hopped into my arms for a brief, joyous hug.

Lowering her to the floor she brushed her hands down her sweater and looked me over; I had chosen a tried and true jeans and shirt combo, with a simple dark-brown jacket that hung loosely around my waist. I knew that she studied in the fashion field, and knew that my outfit probably wouldn’t win any awards from her, but given how nervous I was I figured that dressing in something I felt comfortable in would help ease the anxiety.

In fact, I had barely slept my first night in Glasgow because of how nervous I was meeting up with this delectable woman. Certainly, we had spent months chatting online, but the last time she’d seen me I was lost to the world of mania; I was confident, self-assured, out for myself. Now, I was reserved, quiet and more likely to vomit in the corner than playfully slap her posterior as I had back then. I was worried that the person she was hoping to meet was a fantasy born from her memories of the overly confident (borderline misogynist) she had met in Adelaide.

But, as I would discover over the coming hours this couldn’t have been farther from the truth. For all those months we’d spent online, all those countless hours she’d spent reading my blog, all the emails and secrets we’d shared, everything had prepared her for the person she was meeting up with.

For the first time in my life I was with a woman who wasn’t interested in the fantasy. She didn’t care about fixing me, changing me or turning me into someone I never wanted to be.

She wanted to spend time with Addy; that was the only reason she was here.

INDEX ~ Memory 02: Excessive Ogling

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