i was so nervous.. i stepped out of the cab and rang the doorbell.. my
heart was racing.. he came down the stairs and opened the door.. we
hugged.. he held me for what felt like hours.. i had a million feelings and emotions rushing through my body..
scared.. happy.. love.. joy.. we went upstairs.. i ran into the bathroom
and checked my hair.. when i came out.. and he was pouring some wine.. the tv had some random movie on.. that was the only thing that illuminated the room.. we sat down on the
couch.. and talked.. and talked about everything from work, to common friends, to our own demons.. i was scared.. i didnt know exactly what to do or say.. the fact that i was scared and nervous was impossible to hide.. he touched my leg.. electricty ran through my body.. he took my
shoes off.. commented on my Enzo's.. I smiled.. he pulled me closer to him..
His touch warmed me all over.. he put my legs in his lap.. and grabbed my
hand and commented how tiny they were in his.. i could feel my
heart racing.. he leaned over.. and kissed me.. my soul and being knew what being alive was after that moment

I was very young then, perhaps only 10. My parents had taken my sister and I to Sarawak, on the island of Borneo for a holiday in December.

We took a boat through the rivers leading deep into the rainforests, and stopped at a longhouse to spend the afternoon and the night. It was a nice place; very close to nature, and friendly inhabitants.

The sky slowly turned from blue, to gold, to grey. And finally, it became dark.

But yet not dark. As the very last rays of the sun faded away, everybody began to look upwards, up at the night sky.

Perhaps my mind has exaggerated the memory, but what I saw that night was the most beautiful sight ever to cross my young eyes.

The sky was full of stars, not just singular, blinking motes of light, but clusters upon clusters of jewels, entire galaxies unravelled before me. What I once knew of as a set of dots positioned nicely on a black background became a swirling, living constellation, dancing its way across the heavens, as it had since the birth of Heracles, as it will when the Earth returns to stardust.

The sky gained volume; certain clusters appeared to be in front of others. I suddenly knew that I was staring into the face of infinity, that beyond the burning gems lay more, and beyond them, the entire universe itself.

I am nothing.

My younger sister, who was not particularly religious, closed her eyes and whispered, "Jesus save me."

Perhaps she saw, beyond the eternity laid before us, the cracks in the darkness leading the way to heaven.

I slung my backpack over my shoulders and walked out of the baggage claim area, stopping at the tourist information desk for a bus schedule before stepping outside.

I was standing on the steps of an airport somewhere in between the Rhine and Moselle valleys in western Germany. I had an 8-day rail pass and 700 Deutsche Marks strapped around my waist, and my clothes and necessities in the bag on my back.

I was free.

I knew one person in the entire country, and he was hundreds of miles away. I didn't speak the language. I didn't have any reliable means of communication with anyone I knew. I didn't even know where I was going to sleep that night.

But right there, right then, I was free and alive, in a truer sense than I ever have been before or since. For the first time in my life, there were no limits. I could have gone anywhere, done anything.

It was the most burningly intense elation I've ever felt.

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