This day 20 yrs ago, we had lunch with Ele at the 7 West cafe, and I remember being in quite a state... My band had put together an event at a place on Church that no longer exists, a cavernous and dilapidated old hall. There were a couple other bands and we'd actually sold a bunch of tickets. R and I had been playing games with each other, upping the ante and never quite saying what we meant... for specific reasons, for months, the better part of a year.
That evening, I decided somewhere in my mind, was going to be it. I had to tell her how I really felt. That I loved her, and not like a friend.
The gig was fairly epic - our usual mix of disaster and success. Hadley had an awful flu and sounded even worse than usual. I had attack cramps and so I used what I call 'teenage wisdom' and downed a mickey of tequila and 2 midol right before we hit the stage.
Obviously still wasted after our set, I hung around watching the next band for a bit and then after schlepping gear I ended up in R's car, drunk and desperate and determined (I'd decided she didn't feel the same way about me and was preparing for the worst) and we drove around, quite probably listening to Depeche Mode and Morrisey and The The.
We eventually parked in some random residential spot, and I remember saying it all, hunched towards the dash, cowering in anticipated rejection. And then she just reached out and put her hand on my back, and said she actually felt the same...
She drove me back to her place and we snuck upstairs to her room. We got into bed together and I will never ever forget the intense and perfect shock when she wordlessly leaned in and kissed me.
The second miracle occurred the next day when I discovered I didn't have even a trace of hangover... My first real kiss and my first experience of being drunk, I guess I got lucky.
20 years later, the irony is that we're celebrating this anniversary not with anything fancy (can't afford that right now) but by hiding out in her mum's house. Which feels strange but oddly appropriate somehow.
We've been through a lot in those years, much of it wonderful, some of it terrible and rough. The thing that's never changed for either of us is that electric feeling, the one that says 'You. It has to be you.' How very strange that it should last so long, and I wonder what the coming years will bring...