As the band Hot Chocolate sang, I believe in miracles. Not like Jesus walking on water or the Virgin Mary appearing in a latte. I mean the kind that come unexpected and change the course of your life forever. Miracles that prove the power of faith, intention, and above all, love. For me, they make tomorrow worth hoping for and keep me from offing myself. One of my miracles started with The List.
I wrote The List in May 2015 on my friend’s couch as I bitched about my frustrations with dating. We decided to take a page from Jane and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, when they wrote an ad for a new Nanny, “You must be kind, you must be witty. Very sweet and fairly pretty.” We made lists detailing the kind of partners we were looking for. I knew exactly what I didn't want based on my affinity for fuck boys, failed relationships, and a divorce under my belt at the tender age of 28. It was much harder to visualize the kind of person I did want.
My list I ended up consisting of a bunch of qualities in the form of bullet points, which I now have learned leaves crazy room for interpretation from the universe. My biggest advice to anyone considering this exercise is to BE SPECIFIC. Details!!! Do not rush this process. Think about it very carefully, because you most likely will get exactly what you ask for. Example, one thing I wrote on my list was “Clean” because I previously lived with a messy boyfriend. This seemingly smart choice later became a source of much conflict.
A month after writing The List, my love life was still sad as ever. I ended a situationship with a dude after expressing I wanted something more, but he made it clear he wasn’t looking for anything serious. Tale as old as time. I was over it. Over dating, falling for people who didn’t want me beyond the bedroom, and focusing so much time an energy on something I was beginning to believe I didn’t deserve. I decided to shift my energy from trying to find love to focusing on my art.
June 5th, 2015 the damn wind changed, and Mary Poppins was headed right for me. It was a Tuesday, or maybe a Wednesday… a ho-hum day after work. I hit up an art event alone, a drawing club that held meet-ups to make stickers. This time, it was at the dive bar, Left Field, in the Lower East Side. This bar no longer exists because of gentrification.
I didn’t know anyone there, so naturally, I drank as much as I could to feel calm. Everyone gathered around the pool table in the back, drawing on a massive pile of postage stickers. Dudes talked to me a lot since I was one of the few girls that didn’t come with her boyfriend. A fish swimming with sharks. Trying not to get eaten, I took refuge in the bar area in search for a cigarette.
Sitting alone at the bar was a cute guy with tits-length long black hair wearing a beanie (in June?!) scrolling on his phone. I think he was maybe wearing a leather jacket too… He looked like he definitely had a cigarette, so I asked.
“Nah, sorry. I don’t smoke, but my buddy prolly does. Hey Kev…” He got up to go talk to who must have been Kev, then they both walked over.
“You need a cig? I’m about to go outside now. Here…” Kevin hands me a cigarette. I take a swig of my beer, cover it with a napkin, and head outside.
“So how you know Brian?” Kevin asked, taking out his lighter.
“Oh, I don’t,” I said, “I met him just now. I’m Mistakoy (my artist name). Thanks for the cig.”
“No problem, I’m Kevin,” he said, shaking my hand, “You here for the Sticker Club? I follow their Instagram and this event looked dope, so we rolled through to check it out.”
Back inside, I reunited with my beer by taking another long sip. Beanie in June is still all about his phone. He wasn’t as thirsty as the other guys there.
“Thanks for finding me a cigarette,” I said. I intentionally touched his shoulder as I sat down next to him, “I’m Mistakoy, the street artist. You’ve probably heard of me, " I said sarcastically, faking confidence.
“Oh word, that’s tight. I’m Brian. You get up a lot?”
“Not since I got arrested a few months ago. Trying to stay out of trouble. You an artist?”
“Not street. I used to tag back in LA back in the day.”
“No way, I lived there for 4 years. I was off Glendale.”
“Word, I grew up in LA. I lived at Belmont Station for a bit.”
“That’s literally a block from my old spot.”
Our conversation was effortless like catching up with an old friend. We had a lot in common. Not just a few little things, like crazy things. We used to live a block from each other, went to neighboring art schools, had mutual friends, and hung out in Little Tokyo in downtown LA. I had never met anyone I had that much to talk about with instantly. Too bad I had just sworn off Filipinos with long hair.
“Woah, this is so crazy,” He said.
“What, that we both know Alexis Chung?”
“Nah, I feel like you’re the future mother of my children.”
If this were a movie, that’s where the record scratch sound would play, and everything would pause. I stared at him for what felt like 15 minutes and tried to process the crazy shit that just flew out his mouth. Even crazier, not only did I not run away as fast as possible that second, a chill went down my entire body, head to toe. In that moment, my intuition told me that this guy might be the love of my life. That crazy shit he said resonated with my spirit in a way no other cockameme line ever had. It scared the bajeezus out of me.
“That’s outrageous,” I thought, “There’s no way he meant to say that. I'm definitely being bamboozled.”
Now, it’s important note in this story that, while I was outside smoking with Kevin, Brian went to the bathroom and tested out some mushrooms he just picked up. At the time he said that nonsense to me, I wasn’t aware he was on a trip. I assumed he was just trying very hard to get in my pants. I ignored my intuition and wrote off his loco talk as a kamikaze pick up line.
A guy from the drawing club really loved my work. I drew a sticker for him, and he was smitten. He was also cute, young but cute. I let him follow my Instagram (I had just made a promise to myself to no longer give out my number, only my Instagram) and he got us both a can of Genesee beer. When I caught a chill, he offered me his jacket.
As I sat there chatting up young boy to my right, Brian appears at left. Smooth as butter, he slides in and inserts himself into my line of vision. “What are you drinking?” he asks confidently.
“I have a drink already,” I said to shoot him down nicely, “thanks.”
“What is that?” He pointed at the can of beer.
“It’s a Genesee. It’s pretty good, I like it.”
“What the fuck is a Genesee?? Nah, the future mother of my children is not drinking a Genesee,” he protested, “what are you really drinking?”
Oh. My. GOD. He said that crazy shit AGAIN. Twice. This time I knew he meant to say it. When you say something twice, you meant to say it. That was either the line of the century, or he really was that into me. I had to admit; his confidence was shockingly sexy. I would definitely not recommend a woman give into a guy just for coming to her with this approach, but nothing about Brian felt aggressive. He was just sure of himself and what he wanted.
“Fine,” I said as I tried to keep my composure while I silently screamed, “I’ll have a vodka soda.” He ordered my drink and handed it to me as I adjusted the jacket on my shoulders that belonged to the young boy, who was still sitting on the other side of me watching this go down. I took maybe 2 sips before Brian tapped my shoulder.
“Come on, let’s get out of here,” he nodded to the door, “We’re gonna grab some food. Wanna get a patty melt?”
“I just got this drink. I can’t down it in one gulp.” I complained.
“Oh, you don’t have to finish it. I was just proving a point. Are you coming?”
I was stunned. At that point in my life, I wasn’t attracting dudes more concerned with taking me to get food than getting me drunk and naked. Who the hell was this guy? My brain literally didn’t know how to process his game.
I took off the jacket, handed it to young boy, and thanked him for the beer. I had no idea what was about to happen. I left the vodka soda untouched, ice and all. Brian put his arm around me as we walked out with his friends. He turned and said to young boy, “Welcome to the big leagues. Better luck next time!”
It was the best patty melt my drunk-ass ever had. His friends thought Brian and I had met before. That’s how natural we were together. The ease of everything made no sense and all the sense at the same time. He was funny and unexpected, saying things like, “Why do I always meet beautiful women when I’m on mushrooms?”
We shared a cab back to Brooklyn. When we got to his place, he asked me if I wanted to come up. I did a fake yawn, said I was just going to head home, and waited for him to try to convince me otherwise. NOPE. He shrugged, handed the driver a $20 bill and said to take me wherever I needed to go. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Not only was he not pressuring me to come up, he was paying for me to get home.
“Wait, I don’t have your info,” I said trying to hide the dry thirst in my voice, “how will I find you again?”
“I’ll find you.” He said, shut the cab door and walked away.
As the cab drove off, I sat there stunned. I had no idea how to feel. Thoughts raced through my dome. Would I ever see him again? He would ‘find me’?! What the hell does that mean? Why didn’t he beg me to come up? Do I smell like patty melt?
This week we celebrated our four-year anniversary of the day we met. The List I made all those years ago I believe brought me Brian, who is now my domestic partner and my chosen family. He is everything on my list and much more, BUT I could have been more specific. When I asked for “Clean”, I got someone with OCD whose ideal home is void of any trace of life. I never knew the hamper could be the root of so many arguments- I put my socks on top, close enough! I also wish I asked for someone who doesn’t snore. That was a big misstep. His sleep apnea definitely exceeded The List’s expectations. I repeat, BE SPECIFIC!
I encourage everyone to make a list. Not just for your partner, but for any love you want to attract- a job, home, pet, etc. Not saying this is a fool proof method that will get you anything you write on a piece of paper. No matter how many times I put Jeff Goldblum on my list, he won’t appear (or will he?? I honestly never tried…hmmm).
I always say that we all eventually get what we want in life, we just can’t control when, where, or how long we will have it for. We also have to be prepared to receive exactly what we ask for, because it may not look how we thought it would. My experience with The List has taught me that it takes courage to be honest with yourself about what you deserve, and even more courage accept that you deserve it once you have it. If we allow in that which we truly deserve, it’s a miracle.