My Beloved Enigma

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Me and Brian at Hamilton

I’ve been repeating three words to myself over and over again for the past ten weeks: I’m in trouble.

My heart. My mind. My soul. My very sanity is at risk.
(Romantic hyperbole. You know me!)

I met someone recently, and his name is Brian Enigma.

Yes. That’s his real surname, and it perfectly fits him in pretty much every way, including the way he came into my life and how he has so profoundly affected it ever since.

Although I can be truly hyperbolic, as I’ve reminded everyone three paragraphs ago, when I say Brian’s the most interesting person I’ve ever met, you might think it’s just me overstating something for emphasis. However, that is not an exaggeration in the slightest, so brace yourself because I use the rest of this post to gush about my awesome boyfriend.

Genius. Gamer. Geekalicious. (Full of) Gothic Goodness.
Programmer. Polymath. Puzzler.
Mad Scientist. Maker.
Cat-lover.

All around remarkable human being, really.

Brian can write computer programs and apps from scratch. He knows several languages, including C++, Objective C, Ruby, and Python. He holds an important position in an impressive company. Although he’s a little nervous public speaking, he never fails to wow his colleagues when presenting his latest project.

He has helped organize and run an awesome group called Puzzled Pint for the past 6 years. This monthly event started in Portland ~8 years ago and has since spread around the globe to over 50 cities. Brian became involved because he loves to write and solve puzzles of all kinds. (Genius, remember?) You can join the fun in a city near you on the second Tuesday of the month, as long as you solve the location puzzle first. Otherwise, you won’t know where to go!

Although Brian used to compose puzzles himself, he’s so busy these days that he lets others do the writing, but he guides emerging enigmatologists to create better puzzles. During the event, he helps new puzzlers with patience and encouragement, greatly reducing their feelings of inadequacy.

He’s even created this cool app to assist in solving puzzles of all kinds: Puzzle Sidekick.

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Brian and Cornelius

He volunteers at Free Geek, an organization that recycles and repurposes technology.
He enjoys tending to his vegetable garden and making gourmet meals.
He’s both fascinated with and terrified by robots (as should we all).
He has a box on his bookshelves labeled “Time Travel Stuff.”

He’s often working on (or taking notes for) a new project. I’m amazed how he can have an idea, sketch it out in his notebook, and then make it with is laser cutter, 3D printer, or with his mad coding skills within a day. In the short time I’ve known him, I’ve seen him invent toys for his cats, design and build lighted signs (including the electronics), and produce little plastic cat figurines, which he leaves surreptitiously around Portland to bring smiles to anyone who stumbles across one.

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On a personal front, he’s no stranger to loss and betrayal, like most people; but unlike most, he’s used these painful life experiences to gain a deeper understanding of himself and others, to improve his communication, and to enrich relationships. He’s not afraid of genuine conversations or dark emotions, and he remains present during discussions about difficult topics as well.

I’m inspired by his capacity for compassion and understanding, by his willingness to show up and be present, by his creativity and impressive intellect.

Well, to be quite frank, by all the things!

After meeting me, he bought a huge map of London and started planning a trip to visit me there this summer. He loves when I geek out over London, Shakespeare, or English History, getting that same look in his eye that I get in mine when he starts talking passionately about his projects, puzzles, and programming. He compiled a modern-age “mix tape” for me (a thumb drive full of TV shows), and he made me a Harry Potter bookmark on his laser cutter.

He bought me a Gothic Bat.
Because, of course he did!

Like me, he loves musicals and theatre. Gothic style and history. Disneyland. 80s Music. Harry Potter. Sherlock. Buffy/Whedon. Karaoke. Sudoku. Cinema. Urban life. Binge-watching geeky shows. Modern technology. He loves to go out, and he loves to stay in. He prefers taking transit and walking over driving. We have so much in common, in our tastes, our preferences, and in our past.

Like me, he’s divorced, and like me, his happy marriage surprisingly ended, albeit amicably, through no fault of either, really. Although in different ways, circumstances changed, as they did in mine. He remains friends with his ex-wife as I do with Ethan.

Similar to the stickers he makes and puts all around Portland, spreading good feels to people he’ll never meet, he’s not perfect (lest I be accused of putting him on a pedestal!!), but he’s loved and respected by so many….and he’s truly beautiful inside and out.

When I look at him, my eyes turn into cartoon hearts.

To quote the Hamilton soundtrack: “I’m helpless. I look into his eyes and the sky’s the limit. Down for the count and I’m drowning in him.”

I feel deeply fortunate to have him as a part of my life.

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My revered Shakespeare professor, Dr. Pease, once advised me to share my life with not only the most interesting person I’ve ever met (that’s easy), but the most interesting person I will ever meet.

I suppose that’s yet to be seen, but Mr. Enigma has considerably raised the bar.

Yep. Totally smitten. Heels over head in love.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is that he feels the same way about me.

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Brian and Cornelius

Learn more about the remarkable Mr. Enigma.
More “Stalkeriffic” info here.
…and his newly-formed personal blog here!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. laurapreble says:

    I’m so SO happy to see you with someone who is good to you and facilitates your happiness. You’ve been through so much over the last couple of years, and I am extremely grateful that this Enigma (see what I did there?) happened into your life. Much happiness to you, as always. I wish I saw you more than once every two years!!

    1. I wish I saw you more than every two years, too! We must plan something soon. xoxo

      He is quite remarkable. I’m still pinching myself.

  2. Doc Coleman says:

    The cat is naked!

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