On Lightness

by kaelikennedy

Last week’s post was cathartic. A handful of different people reached out to me to say very sweet things – both identifying with how I’ve been feeling and reminding me they’ll be around if I need them. That was wonderful, thanks to all of you.

It’s been another rough week, and this time I’m going to write some lightness.

On my first real date with Ryan, we both traveled separately to Cleveland for a comedy show. I took a 6AM megabus and spent the morning in Cleveland by myself, and he left work a few hours early to drive out to meet me that afternoon. I remember hopping into his car and trying so hard to make my “Hi” as breezy as possible, even though I was running on empty and had lied that I was exploring all morning while really I had found a coffeeshop and sat there for hours upon hours almost dozing off. We walked around the block where the show was, holding hands, me mostly watching him shop for records. He kissed me in a toy store, between racks of Star Wars action figures and a glass case of lego vehicles.

The comedian we traveled to see was Pete Holmes. It’s a little bullshit to say a relationship was built on one specific thing, a little chintzy, but if there was one thing that drew Ryan and I to each other at first, it was our mutual love of Ole’ Petey Pants (self-applied nickname).

The second time I ever hung out with Ryan was when Pete’s new special, “Nice Try, The Devil” was released. He went to a comedy show in town and then stopped by my house to watch the special with me. We sat together on a loveseat in the living room, with my roommates on another couch just nearby, and with each laugh I let myself fall a little closer to leaning on him. It was delightfully innocent and awkward.

Pete Holmes was given a show on TBS last October. When it first started up, Ryan and I both held off watching it so we could watch it all at once together. On the Saturday morning after the show started, we woke up and watched the week’s episodes all in one chunk. Even then, Ryan knew things had been hard for me lately; as he’s the only person I’m really comfortable crying in front of, he gets a lot of my ugly. But while we were watching TPHS together and laughing, I couldn’t help but to look at him and explain how genuinely happy I was. Laughing and cozy and enjoying something we both unequivocally love.

Pete has a remarkable ability to illuminate the possibility to find small moments of lightness in the world. He marvels and wonders openly. I hope more and more as time goes on to be like him, to be able to appreciate the “cosmic joke” of life. Check out this bit (admittedly an old one) if you want to understand a little.

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