Long-winded gobbledygook

I wrote this back in January 2016 while preparing my wedding Web site (which is still online; if you were invited, you received the URL with your invite. If you forgot the address and want to see it again just ping me).


A flash of light hit me with the strength of a mountain, knocking me backwards against the wall with otherworldly force. My consciousness left me…

When I came to, there may or may not have been other things to see, but that was irrelevant.

The only thing I saw was her smiling face. Amy's smiling face.

Hmmm. Perhaps…I should start at the very beginning. It all started thirty-six years ago, in November of 1979…

…what? You knew about that part already? Well, I guess it would also be difficult to tell that story when I can't even remember back that far…

Alright, then. I guess I'll start from something a bit more recent. 2012, sure, that sounds good.

A few years prior to that, an interesting, loud-mouthed guy who I don't even talk to any more convinced me to sign up for Twitter, so I guess this is partially his doing. Oh, wait, I was supposed to start at 2012. I'm not very good at this…

So Twitter was a place where I basically kept up with my friends…and, their friends, because that's how social networking on the Internet works. I also kept up with some folks that I knew from Internet discussion boards. And when you follow someone on Twitter, occasionally you see writings from folks that *they* follow.

One nickname that popped up on my feed repeatedly was "brightsuzaku." I'd seen that name before, on an Internet discussion board about arcade-style shooting games, referred to as "shoot-em-ups," or "shmups." She seemed interesting, so I chose to follow her also. And that's where my REAL Twitter experience began…because I was not only introduced to her weird and wonderful words, but also then saw the writings of people *she* followed.

And what a varied and unique bunch of people they were! All of a sudden, Twitter became more interesting, more fun, and more of a community for me to hang out with, rather than just a place for me to see what my friends were saying. I spent many an hour reading and "tweeting," getting to know some of the people in this little extended circle.

One such person went by the nickname "FuzzyOctopi." The first thing I noticed about her was that her picture was cute.

…wait, hold on a second. This is the Internet we're talking about. What I meant to say was that the picture representing this user, "FuzzyOctopi," was cute. Because it's the Internet, there was no way of knowing whether the picture was actually of that person. I was also following at least one other person on Twitter whose representative picture was of a cute Asian girl, but who actually was a guy in his lower 20s. So maybe this was a cute girl…but maybe a teenage boy? Or a grandpa? Who knew?

The second thing I noticed about "FuzzyOctopi" was that s/he spoke my language. By "language" I mean puns. Lots of puns, and rhymes, and wordplay. And silliness. And off-color humor. This was my kind of grandpa. So we exchanged those things casually, here and there.

And then, right around the end of January 2013, she (or he) wrote on Twitter something to the effect of "he waited 12 years to break up with me." She (or he) was clearly upset.

Having also experienced a long-term relationship that ultimately didn't work, I wanted to believe that I knew--to some degree--how she (or he) felt. So I sent a message, expressing that I'd been in a failed seven-year relationship, that I was sorry, and that if s/he wanted someone to bounce thoughts off of, I was ready to listen.

After exchanging a few messages, I received an e-mail on February 1st. This time, it wasn't merely from "FuzzyOctopi" but from "Amy," who lived in San Francisco. The e-mail grew into a conversation that went back and forth over a dozen times. Only the first few focused on our past relationships…after that it was about Hermit cookies, and children, and our jobs, and gun control, and alternate versions of Sherlock and Watson in alternative sorts of relationships, and eating bananas with cream cheese.

Then, we were texting. Then, we were talking on the phone. I can still remember the first time she called. She was on the way home from work, and she'd set aside a specific amount of time during one portion of the journey to try it. She sounded nervous. I did my best to seem approachable. I have no recollection of what I said, but I guess I did alright because she called a second time, then a third.

It turns out we had more in common than just wordplay and silliness. We also both tended to develop feelings quickly, for better or worse. Not two months had gone by. I was at my desk, at work. My shift was already over, and I could have gone home, but I was on the phone with Amy for some reason, telling her that I was starting to become attached. She said the same thing. Click, click, click, and I had plane tickets to San Francisco for the morning of April 4th.

If this sounds like it happened very quickly, it's because that's correct. Despite that, "what am I doing?" was not among the thoughts in my head as I boarded a plane for a 6-hour flight.

And then, that moment happened.

I'd gotten off the plane, headed into the terminal and walked out. The exit from the secured area was right in front of me. And so was she. I can't lie…I was nervous. I didn't know what was going to happen. For all I knew, I'd be spending the majority of my trip alone in a hotel room.

No words were exchanged that I can remember. My most vivid memory is that of the moment she launched herself forward.

A flash of light hit me with the strength of a mountain…and by a flash of light, I mean her adorable face. Well, okay, it didn't physically hit me *that* hard. But the surprise did. That hit me really, really hard. My lips acted on their own and it took my brain several seconds to catch up.

When I say that I was knocked backwards against the wall, that was kind of inaccurate because the wall was to her back, but it figuratively felt like there was a wall there, sort of, because something caught me and I didn't fall over. Maybe it was my balance? I'm not quite sure…

I said that my consciousness left me, which wasn't entirely true because then that would mean I'd have collapsed and she'd probably have been horrified. But in a figurative sense, I lost awareness of everything else around me. Someone could have been screaming behind me and I wouldn't have noticed. (Yes, I'm aware that I'm not very observant to begin with…)

All I saw was Amy's smiling face. That much was completely true.

And thus, a new chapter of my life began.

I've done a decent enough job of putting all of this into words, but I'm not sure how to express what followed. Since that day, we've now spent almost 3 years together…learning, laughing, living and loving. Every experience with her feels special. Just looking at her makes me smile. And the more time I spend with Amy, the more I want to be next to her. I love Amy--in a way that I never knew before Amy--and my wish is that everyone, during their lifetime, can experience a love that feels like ours.