An Ode to Chemistry



A friend of mine just got hit by that animal instinct that is crazy chemistry. Some people refer to it as “love at first sight.” But of course, the urge to have sex with someone is not the same as love, so I don’t think it’s accurate to call it that.

I want to disclose up front that I’m not sure you can base a relationship on chemistry, since it seems to be purely physical. But I don’t know. Because the three times I’ve been hit by this phenomenon, it didn’t work out.

So what is it? Well, it’s hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t had it. But sometimes, when you meet someone, you are very drawn to them in a very primal way.

The first time it happened to me was with a Court Jester from The Renaissance Festival. (He wasn’t in costume at the time.) I was selling tickets to an element a440 show. I don’t remember what club I was at, but he was on the dance floor in black velvet. When he saw me he walked over and asked me to dance. And though I had never danced before (and dancing together at a Goth club is sort of weird as Goths generally dance alone) we somehow wiggled against each other in a way that just fit.

I ended up giving him two tickets to the element a440 show before I left the club.

I thought about him all week. It was agony waiting. I didn’t have his phone number. I had no information at all. I didn’t even know his name.

But when the day of the concert came, there he was. He pulled me aside and handed me an old-fashioned key on a chain.


“I got this for you,” he explained. “I was in a shop and I couldn’t stop thinking about you. And there was two… so I just bought them.”

He pulled on a chain around his neck and revealed an identical key hidden under his shirt.

“I know I just met you and it’s soon and all, but I dunno, there was just something about you.”

And THAT is chemistry. The illogical and unexplainable attraction that is stronger than anything you’re ever felt.

I ran away with Kronk and the Renaissance Festival a week later, leaving a magazine I owned and a job I liked behind. But it wasn’t just big irrational decisions that I made. It was all of them. Sex in public bathrooms. Karaoke. I’m telling you- I did not act like myself at all.


It’s the most irresponsible I have ever acted, and it was some of the most fun I ever had. It ended horribly, of course. Yelling, stuff thrown off a second floor balcony. Me hitchhiking home from Texas. Etc…

But I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. And I think anyone who’s been hit with crazy chemistry knows what I mean.

My friend, who is just having his first experience with this, is 40. I guess some people go a long time without being hit by this sort of thing. Maybe some go there whole lives. But trust me, when it happens to you, you’ll know.

One thought on “An Ode to Chemistry

  1. Mine hit me inches away from 40, with a man so beautiful (and a decade younger) that I literally feel chest pains when I think of us apart. One of my children asked me how I knew it was my first time falling in love and not just lusting: I had to think a minute, but I realized when I picture him missing it causes heart pains, when I imagine our intimacy, it doesn’t. You’ve been such an encouraging primal need in my life to continue blogging through my experiences, I’m almost ashamed. ALMOST. I love your writings, and I am sad we’ll never meet before you leave Portland so soon after I got here! But, I’ll never stop reading and rereading you.

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