When I was old enough to speak, I learned Spanish right away. Both of my parents are Puerto Rican and my oldest siblings were born there so Spanish was the dominant language at home. When I started school, I was placed in ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages). It took about 2 weeks for me to test out of there when I proved to learned at an exponential rate. I don’t know if that was an early sign of my affinity to languages, but I think of it at times.
I never realized how similar the romance languages were until I heard some of them spoken. Those languages being French, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Portuguese. Of the five, I speak two and understand four. In 2012, I went to Montreal to visit my brother Richard, he was raised French Canadian. I was immersed in a world where I couldn’t fluently communicate a thought in the dominant language. It was extremely interesting and frustrating all at once. Everyone could speak English, but French was their go to. I would sit there and almost fully understand their conversations with few exceptions, but I had to respond in English. That was the moment I decided I wanted to learn French. It was fascinating.
I love being multilingual. I feel as though I can understand things in a way that I would not be able to if I only spoke English. There have been moments when an explanation escapes me and when told in Spanish or French everything suddenly seems to make sense. Such is the example with I miss you.
In English and Spanish, I miss you is straight forward. I. Miss. You. . .the person you are saying it to. However, in French the literal translation of I miss you is, “tu me manques.” You are missing from me. . .I feel that. . .it makes sense.
I miss you. . .I miss him. . .he is missing from me. The distance makes it feel as though one of the biggest parts of me is gone. My heart aches in such a way, that the idea of being with him once again convinces me that I will be whole the moment our lips meet again. Each moment that we are apart feels like an eternity. Why are we where the other isn’t? The ferocity of this love augments itself and is duplicative by the second. We long for each other on both ends, in a way that I have never experienced in my life. Nothing about him has ever felt foreign. He was a stranger I immediately recognized and fell in love with before I touched his skin. There is something about us that parallels the other despite the distance. I experience this constant state of me too and sameness with him. I’ve heard of people say that they feel lonely at times even when people are around, I feel lucky in the way that I feel seen even in his absence. He is a constant presence and knows me in a profound way. I couldn’t hide myself from him even if I tried.
While the distance is crippling, the memories and ideas of what our next encounter will be occupies some time and fills my heart. The flash backs place instant smiles on my face. My heart races every time I replay his I love you in my ear. The memory of his smell and how he felt along my fingertips gives me solace. I know that with time and patience, those memories will be recreated. It is because of this distance I appreciate things in which others may take for granted. Sharing a meal, laying chest to chest, laughing about everything and nothing all at once. I wish I had the impetus to move time in our favor. Although I cannot, I have patience and strength and love. I have all of this and more, with him. I’m completely in love with this person that I would have never met, if not by fate. The tried and true cliche that, “everything happens for a reason,” is part of the solid foundation that our love stands on. When I sit back and think about all the things that had to take place in order for us to meet, there is no other explanation than we were meant to meet. . .to be.
It is true, I miss him. . .he is missing from me, but only temporarily. Soon, the memory of his kiss will be another vivid experience.
Je t’aimerai pour toujours mes yeux brillants