i want to take you to the hotel-turned-art-gallery-for-one-night in the west end on a cold evening in January. we'll roam flights of staircases, sip tiny neon green drinks, dance to indie bands we've never heard of, be anonymous in a room of perfect strangers together.
this is escapism: we dim the lights, press a little closer (the rules of proximity no longer apply past midnight), and forget everything except for the present moment. i plan to wear a crop top, spill secrets over bar tops, stand on the curb outside huddled with you for warmth under a streetlight, waiting on the Queen streetcar which is twenty minutes late so we might as well walk home.
this place exists if you believe it does. it's unclear when we'll ever be able to crowd into a room of strangers again, but if you've been paying attention then you know that it's never been about the bar, or the lights, or the dance floor. it's about the way that a night can be sanctuary, the way human connection can feel transcendental, about a magic found only in coexistence.
these nights are taken from an alternate timeline, where the downtown train is a portal to a world where everything is okay, nothing hurts, and the only thing that matters is you here by my side. winter night magic isn‘t a place or a time, it’s the space between us. i want to synthesize magic and wonder and light with you—not in that calculated rationalist way where you decide to do something because of a cost-benefit analysis on happiness, but because it is incredible that we (ordinary humans) all have the capacity to create extraordinary, unfathomable magic for each other in this life.
there is a certain exhaustion from waking up everyday to masquerade fearlessness while being secretly terrified of your own insufficiency. on nights when it becomes too much to sit in your own apartment and fend off the silence, i want to tell you that yes, i want your light and laughter, obsessively so. but i also want your wild and i want your dark: i want to hold your unspeakable hopes and secret fears in both hands the way you cradle a butterfly. on nights like these i want to stay up late driving around aimlessly in conversation space until we hit the point where the walls come down, where the only thing to do is to dissect the mysteries of the universe together.
we're self-sufficient, to be sure. i am independent, handle everything, make things work, fix broken things. but i also want so much and ask so much and it’s all so much that some nights i just want to be held and told that i am enough. sometimes it's not reason or rationality that we need; sometimes what we need is the inimitable magic between two people both convinced that they are the lucky ones to have found each other in this wild life. this is why i take every chance to tell you that i think you are unfathomably worthy, that magic is worth waiting for, that everything you want out of other people is valid: because it is, because we are capable of so much more than we know.
every night we're up past midnight together is really a dare: this is my wild, can you handle it? but this isn't a redemption story; you were always worthy. on nights like this, i promise to remind you i want your finite, imperfect glory. vulnerability is what we give in exchange for a soft place to land whenever we think that this time our existential dread has gone too far. i want your shelter, and i want your storm—i want the 2 AM text messages and your existential dread, half-awake dream thoughts and the things you've never said out loud because you don't want to bother anyone with the details. i want to compare notes on this existence—on every single emotion, in excruciating detail, until the unknowable finally feels known.
i want to do all of this without keeping score. it's likely overly wide-eyed to give you everything and just trust that good equilibrium will simply work itself out, but i do it anyway because i think extraordinary things happen when we put wild hope into the universe. the closest thing we have to magic is the space between two people looking at each other wide-eyed and openhearted.