When I was engaged for that short time we went to a bar by her house. The bartenders knew her name and eventually mine too, which is always a good thing, when the bartender knows who you are when you walk in the door, and what you order usually. Pitchers were cheap and we could drink a whole one together just to start.
I don’t remember leaving the bar that night but I remember kissing her for the first time outside, in a weird drunken panic, that fight-or-flight maneuver, the “do it do it do it do it!” voice in ones head that usually comes after four or five beers when your within a certain distance of a beautiful woman’s lips. And I don’t really remember leaving the bar the night before we got engaged but I can pretty much remember the next morning, laying on her couch watching game shows with her, thinking “Oh, so that’s what it feels like” - that feeling of getting what I had told myself I’d wanted for so long - after we talked about getting married (and ultimately agreeing upon it) the same sunny far-off way one would talk about wanting to see a particularly good movie. When you eventually get what you think you want your whole life, you start looking for the next one, the next thing, the next kick. The brain doesn’t do contentment very well, handling it about as well as it handles pain. Pain is roughly 70% mental; that it is - in truth - manifested anxiety of having said pain rather than the actual electrical pulse of pain itself.
A few years later I was in South America at a weird little speakeasy bar, talking with a woman who had it all: beauty, talent, recognition, a full schedule doing what she loved, a lifestyle few people ever get to attain, I guess. But what was charming was what one could at first glance construe as nervousness, her eyes simultaneously taking everything in and throwing it out, searching searching searching, like a cars headlights on a dark and twisting country road. Her true beauty, to me, lay in the fact that she was still looking for what she wanted, that nothing was ever quite enough, and it was never easy for her to define what she wanted; that she knew it when she saw it; the way her eyes would light up at something honest and true, and dim at fakery. It’s something that you see in certain dogs and most children, because they can’t lie, they just run on what’s true.
You see it in grown people sometimes. It’s a specific kind of insatiability that proves that the best people are all a little crazy, and that you never know what you really want until you see it.