One year ago Saturday, I met a fellow in Chicago by chance — or fate, if you like.
I had arranged to buy a bitcoin and he was the person who was to sell it to me. The first thought I had when I saw him that morning was, “He’s younger than I expected.” He was wearing a ball cap and cute glasses, sucking a strawberry smoothie through a straw, and he was about to go into his job at the Board of Trade. And he was smart enough about bitcoin to explain to me how I would actually buy one. My second thought was, “This guy is cooler than I will ever be, ever.”
We did the surprisingly uncomplicated transaction. I thanked him and walked away, proud owner of a bitcoin or two. About three minutes after we basically told each other — sincerely — to have a nice life, I get a text message. I look at the screen of my phone. It was the guy.
“Are you single?”
As I live and breathe, that is how it all began. “Are you single?” A year later, I’m sitting on a sofa in New York City, night air on my shoulders through the window of our apartment on St. Mark’s Place. There’s a homemade apple pie on the sill, still warm. I made a pot roast today, too, and when Yuri tried the first bite, his eyes rolled back in his head and he said, “God, I love you.” I asked him to tell me what he thought when he first met me, if he had any idea I’d be feeding him homemade pot roast within a year.
“What was I wearing that day we first met?” I asked him. “Do you remember?” I definitely do; I can remember what I was wearing at times in my life far better than I can recall dates, names, or how to spell “bureaucracy.”
“You were wearing a skirt,” he answered. “And high heels.” Correct.
“What did you think about me?”
“I thought you were really hot,” he said, still happy about this. “I was thinking, ‘This chick is into bitcoin. That’s crazy. That’s so cool.’ And I was really hoping you’d be hot.”
I’ll be out of town for our actual anniversary, so we’re going to celebrate Tuesday night. I’ve been feeling much better the past couple days, so we’re going to brave dinner at a farmy-tabley place in Brooklyn and then we’ll see a Rufus Wainwright/Robert Wilson creation at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). These two artistic heroes of mine have joined forces on a selection of Shakespearean sonnets; music by Rufus, staging by Bob. (Google the show and look at the visuals — we’re in for a treat.)
And now, because Shakespeare is so good and I’m feeling tender as a pot roast toward my beau, Sonnet 19, which is all about how Time can and does destroy everything, but if my love exists in my poems, he will live forever. Take that, Time.
Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.