Things I Would Like to do with You this Evening.

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“Things I Would Like to Do with You.” is now available! It’s eco and lovely. Get your copy here

15 Things I Would Like to do with You this Evening.

Read the First, first: 10 Things I Would Like to do with You in the Woods. Read the Third, next: Things I Would Like to Remember about Yesterday. Now there’s a fourth: Things I would like to do with you in Time.


“O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou…” ~ Romeo, to Juliet, upon first meeting. ~ William Shakespeare


I would like to ask you out.

I would ask you out to a play, or an outdoor concert, or a picnic—something old-fashioned and slow and private, but outside.

Let’s go to a play. You told me you’ve picked out your dress, it’s old. I have no idea what I’ll wear, and don’t care.

I do care about your face, and your walk, and your voice, and whether you read, and what. And that’s the point of going out. Getting to know. I want to know, among nine other things, whether you have the guts to do your own thing.

I would like to ask you out. “Yes.” But not romantically—you’re still not available, and I’m not sure. I was wounded, and while I’ve soaked and healed and cried and talked and dated…I’m a hardened young man, now, and no longer all so very young. I am not scarred: I am not scared of failure. But I am beaten, beaten, beaten like a sword in the fire. And as the smoke of karma has dispersed, I find that for the first time in my love life, sex is not a goal. Like a confettied champagne-soaked tickertape parade at the end of a great victory, I know it’ll come with, if the rest happens.

And I want to ride my invisible bicycle up to you, sitting on a bench.

The rest begins now, though it may end in the next moment. Or this moment. That’s how first and second dates are.

First dates are thin, eager, weak, sweet, young…full of real but ephemeral love. The tired heart warms again and, childlike, a naive hope of love buds up.

Second dates are a time to talk, a time to get to know—a time to see if the avocado soaked in clean water in a jam jar set on only two toothpicks in the warm sun will sprout. You have to wait two weeks, sometimes.

I’m too old for naive optimism. I’m too young to take myself too seriously.

I would like to take dance lessons with you, my hand on the small of your back. I’m good at laughing while learning and moving through crowds: a skill that comes in handy at festivals and parties and in leadership and in playing, as I did when I was a Beatle-headed boy with a stick, drawing lines in the rained mud so the streams of water would join or route this way or that. I used to spend hours saving the silly worms from blindly drowning in tiny puddles.

I would like to see how you dress: you like stripes, you like belts. You like silk, you like wool, you like cotton, cashmere, angora. And I would like to remember the color of your eyes before the dusk comes, and I would like to know whether to say your first name this way or that, and how to say your last name.

I would like to get to know you, more.

And if, in the dance of conversation and movement, we find ourselves swimming, cool jade saltwater, San Francisco-like moisture beneath the wide moon, then we may wish to embrace. But we won’t.

You like white, you like turquoise, you like buck-tanned boots.

Watching the play, I would like to be distracted by my desire to touch you. I would like to have to focus again and again on the actor’s rapid, dense language. This is no comedy, no romance. My desire for you now is curious, it is careful, it is the kind of romantic desire that leads great writers to write timeless poetry and poor writers to write sweet drivel. For there is no greater joy known to humankind than in first holding hands—except perhaps staving off the desire to do so.

And that may seem saccharine, but think: touching for the first time is the moment of, the passing from “you are a human and I am a human and there are thousands of millions of others like you and I” to “you are a human and I am human and we are us.” This is an intimate moment that, like smoke from clean Japanese incense, is easily dispersed by a wave of the hand. Fate or a brief moment of argument or a chilling of insecurity or a lapse of presence and the spark of our enjoyment of one another may cool. It has happened before. And no one wants cold; everybody wants warmth. But I can not hold your hand, not yet.

I want to know how many brothers or sisters you have, and are your old parents loving to you and one another, and how well do you love your friends, and how do you discuss ex-boyfriends who you still care for, or don’t care for, or like, or don’t like. And do you need drugs, legal or illegal, and why. And what music do you listen to, and a thousand other things like: your neck. Do you have integrity and an old soul, a mother’s wisdom, and yet do you smile readily, like the jump of a deer, startled!

And I want to read your thank you card. And I want to read your thoughts and fall in love too much for just a moment. Then I pull the reins back in. I will pass along your Mason jar of pickled beets to my friends who joined us (so rare and thoughtful of you), and I want to eat the other red gift, the one that is for me.

I want to see you from the right, and from the left. You prefer your left side. I prefer both (good god). I want to keep my mind and desire at bay: beauty demands focus, early on. Later, one can relax into it, as I do when it’s snowing and I’ve had a long day and I sink into my hot tub with an aaaaaaah, and I’ve brought fresh coffee out with me if it’s sunny or cold local gin if it’s dark and I drink the first too quickly or I sip the secondly too slowly and yet I savor either as I do so. My cowboy hat keeps the snowflakes off of my wrinkled New Yorker, in which two of the articles are good enough to frame and put up on a wall where I might reread them, forever, and others might enjoy them when they stop by for some reason and wait in my entrance because they don’t want to take their shoes off.

I would like to want you, but I do not know you, and I finally no longer want what I do not know. It’s true: I do not want you. I haven’t even thought of opening and kissing you and bending, holding and rocking you. I have thought (The Buddha’s Heart Sutra)…I have always thought (and I am well aware that my thoughts are form, and empty, and luminous if seen as such) of your hair, your bow and arrow, your eyes, your hammer or saw, your pen or laptop, and your style, and your wide white smile, and your handwriting. Your words make me want to savor you. I’ve always been a champion for elegance.

I would like to slowly walk back to my house. I will kiss you good night, chastely, on the cheek, holding your left shoulder with my right hand. Later, not now, I would like to know (and if not, I would like to be true friends, and that would be a gift, too).


“Some may think only to marry, other will tease and tarry, mine is the very best parry—Cupid he rules us all.” 


I would like to daydream. And I would like to fly to you and with you. I would like to learn to surf and wear very little for a long time with you. I would like to jump off a modest cliff over a lake in the old green country with you, and dogpaddle and dry off. I would like to go to book readings with you, and wear white with you. And I would like to admire your stripes and literary sadness…and even grow old with you, and live in a proud yellow house and a humble cabin and I would like to raise ten children, or twelve, or three. With you.

I’m an excellent Uncle to many, and will make an excellent father, and a strong but silly, and almost-always patient husband. I’ll make a generous success of myself. And I’ll make a tireless, charming, stubborn public servant when my sideburns turn white and my eyes crinkle in the sun (like Tony this morning, the old lonely friendly widower on the mountain lookout who remembers when they put in the first stoplight).

I can promise a busy life, with peaceful moments. And a warm one, and a hard one, full of true lessons.

I would not like to: argue, but to debate; I want not to push you, but to be encouraged by you; I want not to be bored of you, but to laugh at myself. I want to walk behind you, closely following your golden shoulders and pregnant mind..

“Ooh, stay open…”

I would not like to: think about my walking, but to be present. I want to nearly forget to plan to go on future dates together, so lost are we together, but then to go to new old plays and have future unexpected roofs and times of discord and degradation of integrity only serve to highlight our woolen, cozy, romantic friendship within a summer fort.

“I wanna make this play…”

I would like to remember…how my voice grows soft around you. My soft voice surprises me, but not you, for you do not know my normal voice. I would like you to remember…your kindness surprises me: I am used to new friends and lovers feeling small around my whirlwind, soon beginning to tear at me for a superiority that I do not claim.

I want not to want…no more, but to have…and to let go. The beets are delicious, this time of year.

I would like to see you.

Time takes from us, all of us—but it enables us to enjoy what we have, too.


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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.

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anonymous Oct 25, 2015 9:11am

My heart stopped… broke… endeavoured to beat again…. it’s rhythm forever altered….

anonymous Oct 23, 2015 6:23pm

I’ve been married for over 42 years and my darling and I still love each other the way you write about it. We still hold hands and walk along the beach like we did all those years ago. You are brave to write about your interior emotional landscape in this way. I hope one day you read ‘Colors’ by Yevtushenko – he is in you, and you in him.

anonymous Oct 23, 2015 10:47am

Thank you for this delicious piece. Say hello to Frank Berliner from me. He would remember me as Amie Barker, Naropa Transpersonal Counseling Psych graduate 1999. He was my MI.

anonymous Aug 11, 2015 12:14pm


anonymous Aug 11, 2015 3:19am

These words took my breath away and I found myself tearing up. I never imagined that any man would have such depth, and yet be able to retain his masculinity.Wanna go to a play? 😉

anonymous Aug 10, 2015 9:17am

Ah yes, Cupid he rules us all….And to be not ruled by that inconstant moon. That is the challenge. Beautiful writing. Thank you.

anonymous Jun 7, 2015 11:09am

Lovely…and oh so true.

anonymous Apr 13, 2015 5:53pm

Seductive writing… very nice

anonymous Apr 11, 2015 12:31am

I feel so connected and familiar with every word, every every sense, every feeling of this piece. … as I've written it. .. Thank you

anonymous Apr 5, 2015 12:15am

You are such a romantic. I understand. Oh, the things we want… So seemingly simple, yet apparently complex in their difficulty, finding. Why elusive, true romance? Thank you for giving me hope that I’m not the only one.

anonymous Dec 7, 2014 5:16pm

So beautiful, thank you.

anonymous Jun 25, 2014 2:09pm

I mean, seriously… I think I’m addicted to your writing. Is that possible?

“For there is no greater joy known to humankind than in first holding hands—except perhaps staving off the desire to do so.” Dance classes, bike-riding, debates, but not arguments.

“I can promise a busy life, with peaceful moments. And a warm one, and a hard one, full of true lessons.”

Really? You must be in my head, a figment of my imagination. If you are in fact real- thank you for existing. It gives me hope.

anonymous Jun 8, 2014 9:14am

Thank you. This filled me with great sadness and great joy. Great, great sadness because after a laughter and fun-filled month of feeling this way, he ran away frightened. How one month with someone could reach me so deeply, I do not know. Great joy because it reminds me that there is a fair chance that I will feel this way again – even though it is rare that it happens for me.

Much love.

anonymous May 25, 2014 8:50pm

You said it took 7 hours to write this. It took me close to that long to be done reading it. Your words took my breath away and I had to keep re-reading lines to fully absorb them. Beautiful. This is what I want.

anonymous Apr 8, 2014 6:58pm

Your words are mesmerizing. Thank you for sharing such deep soulful thoughts.

anonymous Mar 19, 2014 2:31am

I love every "Things I want to do with You (…)" post. I want to be brave and feel this way about someone. Brave and lucky, to stumble into someone like this. Purposefully willing to love life and love, love, love.

anonymous Mar 17, 2014 10:22pm

I will pack these words into a trusty rucksack and travel. I will take them to glistening constellations, arctic tundras and mossy rocks. I will open my rucksack, throw them into the air and let them rain on me. I will become wet with their glory and I will glisten with their delicate glow. Words like these need an adoring and safe place to glide through the universe. I’ll protect them for you. Thank you for giving them to me.

anonymous Feb 28, 2014 5:33pm

I absolutely LOVE this; all of them! Reading these is always a wonderful experience. That song! It's now one of my favorites. Every time I read these, I find myself falling in love with love, with my husband, all over again. Thank you for these. <3

anonymous Feb 23, 2014 4:52am

This post makes my heart happy 🙂 Thank you! I hope you've found your One 🙂

anonymous Feb 8, 2014 12:10pm

Wow. I want to meet such a man.

anonymous Feb 8, 2014 8:05am


It all depends on your belief.

anonymous Feb 7, 2014 9:13pm

Moving…beautiful. Sad…because it is impossible. Thank you

anonymous Dec 23, 2013 12:42am

Gorgeous!! Beautifully written. Poetic.

But we will be together and experience everything in time!!

anonymous Dec 6, 2013 10:13am

My heart read this and remembered. Thank you.

anonymous Nov 15, 2013 9:03pm

Please, do ride your invisible bike up to me, (I will smile). This moment begins now. I am dressed simply and softly, my skin longing your desired touch. Your laugh is a melodie that inspires my heart. I dance in circles to the whispers of your heart beat. Play this wonderful game, my mind is yours to pleasure. Promises I never do, I am in this moment so with you. Bisous

anonymous Nov 12, 2013 1:40pm

Things I would like to do with you this evening……
All I want to do is sit in my wingback armchair with my pipe and robe and Redford and read the New Yorker and drink scotch by my roaring fire, in a hot tub
(apart from smoking a pipe!) 🙂

anonymous Oct 6, 2013 3:50pm

Every time you repost this a little part of me dances and a little part of my heart breaks from the weight of this beauty. Thank you, again, for going syrupy sweet. It is necessary. <3

anonymous Sep 5, 2013 11:04pm

Thank you.

anonymous Sep 1, 2013 10:48am

Wow, I agree with Jennifers comment 🙂 Beautiful, lyrical, funny, romantic, vulnerable… If everything is just an illusion , then you already have what you desire. And we’ve all been blessed & affected by this beautiful cosmic consciousness 🙂 Thanks for sharing !

anonymous Aug 17, 2013 11:58pm

Awe the beauty and possibilities of new love! The surprises you find on Facebook when you are up too late! Thanks for sharing and sweet dreams to us al. . .

anonymous Aug 14, 2013 9:11pm

huh. wow.

anonymous Aug 10, 2013 10:33pm

Perfection. Thank you. <3

anonymous Aug 8, 2013 8:01am

I absolutely devoured this.. word for word.. it's probably the most intricate intertwining of feelings expressed on paper that I have ever read… I would honestly give anything to be with a man who would write and express this to me.. it's stunning, heartfelt, raw, emotional and just "beautiful"… Thank you so much..

anonymous Aug 7, 2013 4:42pm

Sending you such a warm open-hearted hug!! These words sparked my heart and made me
flutter! Ohhhh ROMANCE and BIG love!! MUAH. MUAH.

anonymous Aug 7, 2013 1:14pm

This is the most romantic writing I have ever read. I could read a book of this. I want to frame it. And place it on my wall "….to reread, forever."

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful thing.

    anonymous Aug 9, 2013 1:58am

    I thought JUST the same thing as I read it – that I will be printing out this piece and hanging it up by my door..

    Thank you for the beautiful thoughts Waylon.

anonymous Aug 7, 2013 5:42am

Evokes the right space — rooting for you to find someone to meet you there! It's kind of tricky for you, because the intensity and depth you want in life tends to be really hard to deal with when it goes astray…you know, it becomes really nuts when it's out of tune. But luckily you are almost-always patient, and can wait for the right harmony! I can so picture you as part of a super fun, loving family — even seems like you'd be a great stepfather. That's just what I picture for some reason…so, in case you know anyone with a small boy, you might take this as a sign to ask her out! Haha…I'm almost-always impatient, unfortunately, and I'm ready for the next episode, but I guess you better not blog about your dates as they happen…might scare her off.

anonymous Aug 7, 2013 1:36am

And Samurai Calenthestics (is that how I spell it!?) sounds like I need to get me some of that! 😉

anonymous Aug 7, 2013 1:34am

I love this and that it took me right back to first meetings and gave me that feeling of first love loveliness. I also love that others writing can take you back to your own memories and how that shows the commonality and truth of those human experiences and yet each one is also uniquely your own as well.

There are some amazing writers on Elephant journal. I am inspired to write more and write better and deeper. So thank you.


anonymous Aug 6, 2013 7:47pm

That is a beautiful collection of words. I want to remember to find it and read it again always.

anonymous Aug 6, 2013 1:58pm

Wow. This is a most beautiful piece, Waylon. The best, most beautiful thing I have read in some time. Thank you! <3

anonymous Aug 5, 2013 2:50pm

Despite my contentment a gush of longing welled up and rippled through me. Thanks for the experience.
In return, you've rode by that bench countless times but this time you look and see beauty with a kind smile and eyes sparkling with knowing humor.

anonymous Aug 5, 2013 11:48am

Mr. Lewis- Your many posts along these same lines are surely attracting the right attention…so, vulnerable. Yet. FUNNY, some how. Cheese-factor high. Which, of course, makes it all the more adorable. Sending you more "may you find what you seek" energy.

    anonymous Aug 5, 2013 4:15pm

    Aw, thanks! But not "many"! Only these two, I think! I have very little heart, so drawing real feeling out of it takes a lot out of me!

      anonymous Aug 25, 2013 8:30am

      and…asking someone to like not only white and turquoise but buck-tanned boots?! You ask a lot. Now if you were to ask someone to like white, turquoise, and stripes you may have more luck. Just an encouraging tip.
      Keep drawing it out…it seems like "many" or a lot of feeling maybe gives the impression of lots. Good work-skillfully written and good for your (and the reader's) soul.

anonymous Aug 5, 2013 7:27am

This is some serious writing. I'd be suffused with jealousy if I wasn't so evolved. Okay, I'm a little jealous. Keep making great art, Way.

anonymous Aug 5, 2013 5:25am

Wow. The most beautiful combination of words I’ve read in a long time!

anonymous Aug 5, 2013 2:21am

I think you might be pushing to get it all done in an evening! But may all you dare to dream come to pass 🙂

anonymous Aug 5, 2013 1:35am

This was absolutely mesmerizing…it flowed like milk and honey through me and re-sparked the shimmering, burnished hope that I will find someone someday who will feel and write like this just for me. I will return the divine favor to him as best I can…

With gratitude~~Joanna

anonymous Aug 4, 2013 11:28pm

Wow. Just beautiful. I hope there is someone out there who wants to do these things with me….

anonymous Aug 4, 2013 10:56pm

Beautiful. Heart-opening. Thank you for sharing part of your soul. Now go find that gorgeous woman and bring it to fruition. 🙂

anonymous Aug 4, 2013 8:38pm

I have never ever read something more romantic and mindful at the same time ! It is like my heart would have written this – you really connected to a higher source while writing this Mr. I honor and vow to your light <3 many many thanks for your words and inspiration.

anonymous Aug 4, 2013 8:36pm

Jennifer White & Karyn beat me to EXACTLY the way I responded to this article. Damn. Some very LUCKY woman is out there when you two connect!

anonymous Aug 4, 2013 11:00am

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards you writing this post. My heart is bursting with possibility and reminded of the abundance that is ever present in the world. This is a much needed reminder as I am in the middle of ending a thirteen year relationship with my college sweetheart–a relationship that I allowed to slowly over time strip away most of my romantic notions about love. This post reminds me of all that is beautiful and sweet in the world, and that the type of connections I desire exist. In love & gratitude, Carly

anonymous Aug 4, 2013 1:37am

It's all foolishness. Imaginary experiences just to get money from the gullible.

    anonymous Aug 4, 2013 9:47am

    You got me. Blogging —> the fast, easy route to money. All you have to do is write your heart out, put in on a chopping block, and submit yourself to boldly anonymous comments from A.Yeshuratnam and Steve A.

    Damn. ~ Waylon

      anonymous Aug 5, 2013 2:02pm

      Oh. My. God. People never cease to amaze.

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 10:19pm

I would have you in a heartbeat 😉

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 8:55pm

you seem to be doing this a lot lately… but i love this one even more than the last. i'm really glad thoughts like this exist somewhere. about someone. from someone. about dialogue and desire to understand. and you did make me cry (thanks to michael up there i'm not the only one yay!), but it was because of so many things that you evoked that i'm just happy to read it and that others loved it too… nicely done, i adore writing like this. 🙂

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 8:48pm

There is a romantic side that was unleashed by a love such as this and now I have lost that love but do not regret a moment of its sweetness despite the bitterness of having lost the dream. Your words brought tears to my eyes and flickers of a lost dream to my heart. Beautiful.

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 7:52pm

A really lovely piece of writing, thank you for it.
A few folks are bitching about elephant not being free.. I subscribe and also left a tip of the "love this" variety – am happy to swap out my medium coffee for a small tomorrow 🙂 this article was worth more than a few ounces of coffee.

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 7:47pm

Really just beautifully written! Loved it!

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 7:21pm

That has always been my favorite film and I have those images ( even on my match profile)! Can't help it… I Love Love~

    anonymous Aug 4, 2013 7:51pm

    Love that film. Highly recommend. My mom when I was a child brought me to all kinds of arty, often Euro films…I'm forever grateful, even if I wasn't (usually, this was an exception) then.

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 7:18pm

When I write like that's like giving birth…even though I haven't had children HA! Beautiful….So Beautiful ~ Thank You~

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 5:30pm

I read this more than once. Because everyone out there who read it wishes it was written for them. And then acted out. You had me at "let's go to a play."

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 5:06pm

So heartbreakingly beautiful I’m not sure I have the right words to express the whirlwind of emotions it evokes. Today I was thinking about love, and all it’s manifestations, and how complicated it is, and not like Disney ever told it would be. This story fit right in.

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 4:21pm

A few FB comments:
KC: i cant get enough of this!!!

Elephant Journal aw thanks, you!
Lisa N Beautiful!

Ava G Who would have ever left you has not understood what love is

Elephant Journal well, none of us can live a chapter, we're all books!
Angie O I have to sleep now.

Elephant Journal I have that effect on women?
Trace D …lovely! better than the first! romantic prose, Shakespearean delight, SO romantic, expressive, curiously interesting, thought provoking, endearing… giggling sweetly like it was written to me. great writing!!

Vickie Lynn

Bonnie S Steve……get some depth to yourself It's a heartfelt article, if you can't identify with it maybe you need to "grow a pair"
Steve A Dude. Grow a pair. If you stopped whining maybe you'd have a chance.
Waylon: honestly, I keep saying, but you should really write a book. Your inspiring words would move thousands of men, and women, and children. C'here and hug me, brau.

Georgia M This whole thread you've written, Waylon has made me thirsty for love. Perfect pros. Please write more.

Ashwin K What many perceive to be naïve and innocent beauty, but in essence is what it all comes down to…

Kathy F Absolutely beautiful Waylon-

Laurel H a lovely read for my early morning solitude…

Macushla H for the romantics in us all!

Raquel E love

Tracy L So far away

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 11:00am

Thank you for these honied words of perfect viscosity.

anonymous Aug 3, 2013 9:33am

wonderful. I confess that I cried.

    anonymous Aug 3, 2013 10:28am

    Wow. Thank you, Michael, happy it's connecting. It connected with me as I wrote it! But I owe a great debt to Sara Crolick and Bryonie Wise for editing, live, with me before I released it into the wild! I was pretty burned out by writing this, it took something like seven hours, which is nuts.

anonymous Aug 2, 2013 11:36pm

Who wrote this deliciousness?

    anonymous Aug 3, 2013 5:33pm

    Sorry, didn't put my name on it at first. Updated!