I didn't take a road trip to Oregon to spend the entire 72 hours on okc dates. My friends were driving up there for the weekend and offered me a ride.. I had had an intense dream about my college ex boyfriend... I missed my sister. I missed hot summer nights.. Oh and then there was my dads wedding. All of this synchronicity resulted in me finding myself in the back seat on the I-5 relieving emotional stress the only way I know how to: online dating.

It was 10pm on Thursday as we finally rolled into Eugene. I was planning to stay at my ex's house. I figured I'd have a cocktail with an okc guy first to take my mind off the stress of seeing my ex.

Date #1

I took a deep breath of confidence and stepped into the packed bar of college students. I found a seat at the bar and pretended to look at the cocktail menu for way too long.

He had circular glasses, a scruffy face and hip biker style. He was warm, funny and had intense eye contact. He knew how to date. Three and a half hours later I observed the conversation merge into a passionate energy swirling between us. The words lost their meaning as the connection through our eyes became raw, vulnerable and loud. I realized the length of time it takes to make a connection with someone. My ex sent me a text that said he was going to sleep and to call and wake him up when I got there. I didn't plan for this date to go so well, leaving me conflicted about whether to go toward the comfortable echo of a past love or the excitement of the unknown potential of my date. Sadness permeated from my phone into my body as I knew what decision I was making.

We walked in the middle of the silent streets and I stared up at the black sky. He had a hammock in his backyard with branches above blocking the hot summer rain. He asked me if he could put his arms around me and I laughed and said of course. Then he asked if he could kiss me and I laughed again and he said "are you not into consent culture?"
"Consent culture?!" I found this term fascinating and amusing. I felt safe, respected and turned on.

As I laid there in his arms I thought about my ex and how badly I wanted to see him.

I got one and a half hours of sleep. My friends picked me up at 8am and we drove to Albany. As I walked into my dads house, I felt the forgotten yet familiar sense of loneliness and feeling unwelcome. After the third mean comment from the foreign humans supposedly related to me, I said fuck this, told my dad to have a good wedding, and jumped back in the car with my friends on their way to Portland. I got back on okc.

Date #2

Sweaty, thirsty, hungry and completely exhausted, I trekked through the city to our agreed meeting spot. I fit right into the street scene sitting on a park bench with bright purple hair, piercings and massive lime green backpack. I might as well have had a cardboard sign that read "injured heart, need okc dates".

He was dressed casually in a brewery shirt and jeans. I could tell he was a climber. He was very attractive. He had his hands in his pockets and a timid, uneasy look on his face. I immediately felt self conscious and wished I could change from a brightly colored rainbow to a casual, conforming grey. I tried to break the awkwardness with a joke and failed miserably. I guessed that he felt sorry for me when he grabbed my bags and said "let's find you some food and water."

The kale salad gave me the burst of energy I needed to work my first date magic. We hiked up a hill and onto a beautiful grassy overlook of Portland. As I began to connect with this new human, again I observed our confusion about each other start to melt and honest emotion had space to wander in. I listened as I laid in the grass and watched 3 bugs circle around each other in front of the blue sky. Time felt like forever.

By the time we got to his place we had found so many things we had in common that he was dying to show me all of his house renovations and I showed him all my event videos. We put on a movie and I fell asleep.

In the morning I woke up to the cozy sound of rain and he asked me what our connection meant to me. He said now we have a relationship forever. I knew what he meant but I didn't know how to respond. He made me a blueberry kale smoothie and then together we made raw chocolate. He blasted this stupid AM radio that he claimed to have received as a gift. We went to the park and he flew a kite that looked like a ship. I stood on my head and watched. We made the best kale salad ever and then went climbing. I called a lyft, hugged him goodbye and said "I'll see you soon".

With 16 hours left of my time in Oregon, I felt fearless. The driver was a bit worried about me, asking "you want me to drop you off in this alleyway with your huge backpack because you are meeting a strange man from the Internet?" I reassured him that I was on an adventure.

Date #3

I tiptoed into the bar filled with aquariums and the most epic music: House of blondes. We saw each other right away. I was so immediately attracted to his energy and physical presence that I was almost speechless. I tried to break the ice with a hug. It didn't work somehow but it didn't matter. I ordered a cocktail called "Yes Please."  It contained all of my favorite ingredients ever which I had never seen combined before. I was on cloud nine. There was nothing in my head but pure presence as I let myself become absorbed by the experience. I had no idea why I liked him so much.

We made a camp fire in his garden. We still didn't know much about each other because each topic led to discussion and there wasn't much time left for questions or sharing. I don't remember much of what we talked about.

He told me to hold out my hands under the magenta amaranth flowers as he rubbed his hands over them and the pieces fell out into mine. When my hands were full of pink petals he told me to blow them away leaving the most perfect shiny black seeds hidden underneath.

Then he kissed me. The best kind of making out is when it could last forever. It was like that. By the campfire. Until it started to rain. I went into the bathroom, dropped my face into my hands and promised myself I wouldn't miss any part of this amazing night. I would soak in every drop.

Feeling intense chemistry with someone you just met is the best high in the world. My senses immersed in bliss, we devoured each other's bodies; tangled in affection until morning. He kissed me goodbye in the coffee shop, twice. I wanted to tell him this was the best first date ever, but I no longer cared about words.

I got in the car taking home with me only memories. They were not memories of feeling hurt and victim to my emotions from my younger life. They were 72 hours of memories of me courageously walking into the unknown; of seeing new energy unfold in front of me in its own strange and unpredictable path. I was believing in the possibility of deep healing connection while knowing the physical moments were impermanent.

Beneath all of the brightly colored, evanescent amaranth petals, I carry with me the most perfect shiny black seeds. I know I can plant them anywhere and watch a fresh spark of energy come to life. I don't know what the energy will hold, but I do know the potential of its power.


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