S: If We Knew Each Other
FC: If We Knew Each Other A tale of melasters that might have been
1: If We Knew Each Other A tale of melasters that might have been | To Danny with love from Dian
2: If we knew each other when we were five I would brag that I was the better reader even though it wasn’t true, and you would tell me you colored the best, which would be true, but we would still share snacks and look at rocks and wonder what it felt like to touch clouds. | If we knew each other when we were five I would brag that I was the better reader even though it wasn’t true, and you would tell me you colored better than I, which would be true,
3: but we would still share snacks and look at rocks and wonder what it felt like to touch clouds.
4: If we knew each other when we were seven I would show you how to hang upside-down on the monkey bars and you would show me the proper way to build with Legos and probably I would be better at the upside-down stuff and you would be better at constructing buildings with plastic bricks,
5: but we would still walk home from school together and talk about all the reasons dinosaurs make great pets and smell every flower we passed in the springtime and taste snowflakes in the winter.
6: If we knew each other when we were nine I would tell you my favorite poem while I mispronounced most of the words
7: and you would tell me which animals we should adopt when we were old enough to have our own animal refuge, and we would eat lunch together and no one would ever ask to sit by me on the bus because they would know the seat next to me belonged to you.
8: If we knew each other when we were eleven we would hope that our desks were close together so we could pass notes without getting caught even though we would both feel guilty about breaking the class rules,
9: and I would probably tell you I felt funny about the changes that were starting in my body which would make you horribly embarrassed, but you would still want to exchange your favorite books with mine and sometimes we would still look at clouds together.
10: If we knew each other when we were thirteen we would both hate junior high but love our English teacher and even though we probably wouldn’t share a locker
11: we would still meet for lunch and you would make me laugh and remind me I wanted to live, and you would write me a poem and for a moment I wouldn’t be sad.
12: If we knew each other when we were fifteen we would study vocabulary together and read Shakespeare aloud and I would try to teach you to turn cartwheels and do trigonometry but you would be too stubborn to learn and we would both wonder if we could tell each other about the people we longed to be in love with
13: For he being dead, with him is beauty slain | Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming. | For they sweet love such wealth brings | and then we would say nothing, but you would remind me when I went home that no matter what was awaiting me there, you would be awaiting me the next day and everything would be okay for a little while.
15: If we knew each other when we were seventeen we would wonder which college to attend and I would make sure my test scores were better than yours and you would look at me like I was crazy to compete over such a thing and we would wear our caps and gowns and walk down the aisle and you would smile when your parents took your picture and beckon me to join you so I would have a picture, too, and I would give you something silly for graduation and you would give me a hug and a kiss and yours would be the better gift.
16: If we knew each other when we were nineteen you would attend my wedding understanding more than any other person the difficulties, joys, and nuances flowing through my brand new union
17: and I would listen to you speak in church and cry when you weren’t looking because I wouldn’t be able to see you for two whole years and when you were back our lives would be different and I wouldn’t see you every day anymore, but I would still hang upside-down on monkey bars and do cartwheels and you would still draw pictures and write poetry.
18: But we didn't know each other
19: Now when I’m with you I feel we must make up for lost time with our almost daily continuous conversation and I want to talk about reading and coloring and snacks and rocks and dinosaurs and clouds. | Now when I’m with you I feel a thousand insistent hugs wishing they had taken place years ago and intimate conversations about sadness and love and dreams press to be expressed. | Now when I’m with you I wonder why it took you so long to be born and I feel as if I was waiting for you even though I didn’t know I was waiting until we finally met.
20: Now when I’m with you a piece of my heart belongs to you. | It was yours before I knew you. | It will be yours long after we both are gone.