he said

19 12 2007

no christmas presents, which i’m claiming is my excuse for squirming when he handed me the wrapped cube (which looked identical to the one he’d wrapped up for my roommate, and which occurred in a bright living room, and which ought to be nothing at all to squirm about). hers was full of pete and pete episodes nicked off the web, made on the new dvd-burner he & i’d gone shopping for, because we’ve done most of our shopping together over the past few months, because we’ve done most of our everyday tasks of carrying on and living in the world (the kitchen, the car, the mall) together over the past few months, because when you start a habit that works why stop it, because it’s easier carrying on when you’re doing it with, because.

he made me misfits of science dvd’s (given early, he said, so i could share them over break with my brother, because he knew i’d want to, because he knew). and mix-cds. (3 of them, given early, he said, because it was a long drive home.) with his curled handwriting across the rim of each plain silver disk, just like on all the ones in nette’s cd-case, all the mixes he made her for years and years, all the treasured little gatherings of sound he’d gifted her for holiday after holiday.

it wasn’t a totally out of the blue thing to do; i’d made him several first, & last christmas a 2-disk set of 80s songs, to go with her copy of the tao of pooh (signed by me to her & on his shelf somewhere). he shrugged & said “it’s just random stuff. it’s just something i’ve been meaning to do for a while.” no amount of saying “just,” though, makes the making-task, the decision to do so, the deciding-on-songs, the shaping the words with the sharpie any less poignant. like with matthew, it’s both a gift and a surrender. and i both treasure it (and how) and rue that the path to such exchanges had to be forged at all.

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