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"Anna"

It feels good to be on the inside.

Being in love is, of course, an entirely unique feeling. I've lived a life basically devoid of human contact and closeness to friends. Of course, guys are like that, not as intimately physical as girls are, but none of the women I know, or the family I know, do I have that physical bond.

For years that realm existed far away, close enough to see in every single group of people I saw on the street or in class, yet it dangled out of my reach for what was a personal eternity. After reading Perfume, I could relate to Grenouille at times, although not with his utter hollowness. The most I touch people is a handshake, and even that is rare. Plastic, metal, synthetic material -- those are what my tactile senses are most familiar with.

I spent last summer almost entirely with Anna. She lives in Sweden and I live in Texas, which means the Internet and scamming phone companies have to suffice for a great deal of the year. It was the third separate occasion we'd been together in real life. Her family was very sweet -- we arranged to spend time together in Dallas, Stockholm, and London. I must say that I've never had a summer so invigorating, so affirming, so much fun.

Thank you, Anna. I love you. She's let me into that world previously barred to me. For those brief, paradisal periods we have gotten to be together, I've felt more human, more full of passion. No longer was I the man always seen alone -- now I was the man kissing the woman, hugging her, holding hands while walking...the man and woman always together.

You take it for granted sometimes. When I see Anna, there is an intimacy and familiarity which rips away your inhibitions and shyness. I am completely different around mine Anna. There's no having to warm up the conversation with small talk, no bullshitting around. There's a connection. We can talk, or arrange a plan, or embrace...whatever. It doesn't matter what.

Have you ever known someone really well, and then had a bitter rift? The hurt is of a grander magnitude, since you are used to that familiarity, but it's not there. Intimacy is a delicate matter and you should never, ever lose sight of that if you have a partner. Many people are not so lucky, and it's a divine gift to share such closeness with another person. A heart full of lamentations of loneliness is a dreadful thing -- having someone to share your life with is the most important thing in a human life.

Frank Black: "You must be so lonely."

This was the longest period of time Anna and I had been able to spend time together. We spent three weeks together for Christmas in Stockholm, but this was more like two months of non-stop Anna-action. I grin from ear to ear.

Another thing about love is that you don't get tired of being with your partner. We were virtually inseparable throughout the whole thing, and I don't regret a moment. After a whole semester of studying and managing without your girlfriend, you have a lot of catching up to do. Do not take physical availability for granted -- some of us have to get by on weeks at a time, hardly the way it should be.

Here's what love's all about: it's about a non-stop adrenaline rush when you see your woman and when you hold hands with her. It's about sitting with your woman on the couch, being knock-dead drunk with her scents, seeing happiness as a radiant, blue daffodil in each of her eyes, not knowing or caring what time it is, being unable to think of the negative. It's about taking advantage of what a couple can do that a sole person can't. It's about thinking about your woman, even if she's not there, even if she's 8000 miles away, even if she's going to a different school, speaking a different language, striving for different goals.

It's about curling up together on the couch or on a bed. It's about tending to each other's needs, being happy together. It's about knowing her so well I can tell what's on her mind. It's about being under the constant attention of Eros. It's about lusting and loving at the same time, the former building upon the latter.

It's about doing things you would not normally do if you were single. It's about being ALLOWED to do things you would not normally do if you were single. It's about being one with another human, a human of exquisite beauty both internally and externally, sharing what you have together in a synergy of delight and satisfaction. It's about trusting her completely where at first you may have questioned her motives and abilities, but now you have confidence in her and can count on her to do an outstanding job. It's about romantic surprises, about lying on the beach somewhere in Crete together, about feeding each other food, wiping each other's mouths with napkins, using mushy nicknames for each other -- screw everyone else if they're disgusted by it. I've had to put up with seeing other couples do it for so long while my Anna was thousands of miles away that I've earned up a mountain of paybacks by now.

Love is about two people who accept each other for who they are, and not for who they want each other to be.

Anna is a wonderful woman in her own right. She has limitless possibilities ahead of her, and a linguistic aptitude which comes to her completely naturally and elegantly. Her manners are impeccable, her individuality and mind are strong and powerful, her ambition and drive are unmatched, her tongue speaks of wit and delight, her glow lightening the darkest of rooms. Her tall frame, long and beautiful hair, blue blue eyes, perfect physique, confident stride, deadly sexy fashion sense. Being with her is like being with a goddess. I am seriously not used to receiving all the amount of attention Anna does. I see you, men. Be envious, you bastards. Pigs.

I admit to having a crush on Mina Murray, Jonathan Harker's wife in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Winona Ryder did an excellent job portraying her, I thought, as did everyone else as their parts in the movie. Go see it -- I can't get enough of the film. Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman...outstanding performances. Anna reminds me of Mina Murray in many aspects. Strong, intelligent, reasonable, faithful, beautiful. One, of course, is a fictional character, while my Anna is an entirely real person. No doubt about that one. Mmm.

Not only do we have intimacy, but we now have a history. We've stood atop the first flight of the stairs at the British Museum, and we've seen the San Antonio Riverwalk. We've looked out over central Stockholm from the top of Skansen. We even did the little things, like watch rented movies and catch up on old movies we didn't have a chance to see together earlier. We've spent possibly thousands of hours online talking. And you know what? It's still the best thing to happen in my life.

Online relationships do work. When Anna and I get the chance to live together with each other permanently, we'll enjoy the physical closeness oh so much more. I can hardly wait. We've endured enough hardship through long distance already. Let's get together soon, okay? ;) For good.

Te amo gratiasque tibi ago, deliciam.

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