I don't even remember the content of that particular conversation. It was something about performing in a small pub-like setting and something about fine arts.
I only remember the colour, the ecstasy, the rush of affection, the sudden sharpness of my friend's words and the images he were painting with them. I was suddenly aware of a single line of words appearing in my mind - I love this part of him. And I do.
When he spoke of it, I had an urge to hug him affectionately and tell him I love this part of him, but I don't because it is not respectful. Instead, I shook his hand.
No, I don't love him romantically, not even one bit. This is different.
I want to bask in his art, take it and hold it in my palms, turn it over, examine it, swallow it all if possible.
He was articulating my dream. He had simply reached into me, pulled it out and told it in his own words.
I am amazed at how similar people can be. At how many people I've met who were like me in some ways. In that split second, it all makes sense. This is it, I thought triumphantly, this is how loving a part of somebody without romance is like. This is what I have always been feeling! This isn't romance, I don't have to feel guilty about it and I can love as many people as I want in this way. I want to always love people in this way.