each spring i get this feeling of melancholia in the center of my stomach. i get nostalgic and restless and i listen to the song cavalier and i anticipate goodbyes. the air feels wetter in my lungs and the world gets more colorful and charged like van gogh's arles. it's delicate but beautiful but breakable, and this is the time of year when the world teaches me the necessity of letting go.
of boys, specifically.
everyday when i walk past the bell tower to get to the parking lot, i'm reminded of one wet pink spring day nearly three years ago. i was heavy heartsick and listening to stacks, and poor and unsure about what i could achieve in the next years. during that week i would sit on a bench underneath the floating blossoms and pretend to look busy, but really to wait for a sunny-eyed boy to pass by. he was magic, and i couldn't have him, and he never believed what i could see in his smile. i saw him recently, for the first time since that wet pink world, and he still sparkles. it feels like springtime.
last year my spring was red like the new tulips surrounding the white house. he was a sudden thaw. a week-long kiss. we were magnetic for a few days--leaning farther than necessary into each other on unshaky metro rides and sitting silently, shoulders touching, as the only audience of the slow motion art film in the basement of the gallery. he told me he kissed me because i smiled like i had a secret. he wanted a mona lisa. i am a girl, and it ended as quickly as it began--just like springtime.
pressed between those years was a yellower spring revolved around a boy perpetually wearing red plaid. i spent that spring unbrave enough for him, and in his many entrances and exits since, i don't think i have ever been truly courageous. i have never been more frightened than to think that maybe i could love him. or that if i did, he probably wouldn't love me back. or that if i couldn't fall in love with someone to paper-perfect for me then i would never fall in love at all. so i didn't. i felt nostalgic that spring for things i never thought i'd know: the way he brushes his teeth. his heartbeat before he kisses me. his mother's handwritten notes. these things are already a memory. i had them for such a short time that they weren't even mine. like cherry blossoms, they were only fleetingly pink, floatingly white, and then they were gone.