I can't say this out loud, so I'll write it down instead.
|To the One I Cannot Say/
My favorite piano has three legs. A few keys are sunken and the G on the far left sticks, but if you hit it just right you can play the most beautiful melody. Well, beautiful is subjective. The piano tuner called my favorite piano “unfixable, not worth your time”. The melodies are off by half an octave, but I think they sound nice. I love my favorite piano, even with the three legs.
My favorite mug is ugly. The print faded many washes ago and the chip by the handle threatens to cut your lip with every sip, but the curved body fits into my hand like a warm mitten. And it’s dependable, keeps your coffee steaming while it sits abandoned on the coffee table. It knows you’ll come hunting for it in no time. I appreciate its loyalty.
My favorite sweater is stretched out around the collar. It’s a woven mess of unflattering gray and grease stains. It’s not my fault that it’s the perfect sweater for nearly every occasion: cooking, sleeping, errand-ing, working. In college, I tossed my favorite sweater aside for an itchy wool thing. It was school bus yellow, and I hoped it would bring out my eyes. The date was horrible, and I never made the mistake of tossing my favorite sweater aside again.
My favorite person is you. You are beautiful. It’s completely unlike me to tether myself to a thing so objectively beautiful. Pretty things make you wince and check your uneven teeth and acne scars in the mirror. I try to surround myself with only the nice-looking things that don’t reflect my own inadequacies like pretty cats and special edition books. But if you ever made me wince, I suppose I just found a pair of sunglasses.
You know the most about everything that there is to know. Your brain has somehow found room to fit current affairs, German, historical trivia, and jokes for every situation. But thankfully you’re not prideful, or it’d be impossible for the rest of us to stand near you. You wear kindness like a fuzzy, hot pink turtleneck: i.e., obviously. It’s stamped all over your forehead, and you leave it lingering in every room you exit. I’d actually be nice to meet someone who felt mistreated by you. It’d make me feel less insecure about every time someone witnessed my early morning pre-coffee grumpiness.
Of course, you’re not perfect. Nothing really is, except maybe a Norman Rockwell painting. And I’m sure even then you might find a speck of paint out of place if you search hard enough. You don’t respond to messages in a timely manner, which causes my stomach to knot into a ball. I don’t get your obscure references, which isn’t a fault reflected on you, now that I think about it. But I still don’t like it. You make me blush like a ripe tomato when you say my name, and I’d rather keep my cards close to my chest. It’s not fair how easily you out me. You’re not perfect, but I like imperfect things. You make me feel exactly like my ratty sweater does right out of the dryer: warm. I’d take every bit of you if I could, from the freakishly blue eyes to the long fingers. I’d even take the frustratingly obscure references if that meant I could hold your hand. For one ignored text I’d trade one afternoon playing out of tune songs for you on my three-legged piano. I don’t even want to know the cost of a kiss.
I like you most of all. I liked you at the party where we met, and I liked you on my wedding day. Even now I like you when my husband is making you laugh at a dinner party. When our eyes meet across the meatloaf, I hope you hear it. To the one I cannot say, my favorite thing is you.