In the mornings, it was excused for sleepiness. We’d pass each other in our own floor patterns and habits, maybe say good morning., My cigarette smoke leaked into the morning yellow on the back deck where I’d wake and listen. Birds and wind and traffic and exhalations. Then my brain would squeeze as the sun rose higher and the dreams cleared, knowing it was time for the day to begin, wondering how it would go, if it would last, if we’d changed.
We dressed at different hours–I, with the comfort of time suspended, unable to work and trying to heal–and he, in the rut of unemployment and agitated fingers buttoning his shirt. The hush of clothes as we passed in the hallway to the bedroom, maybe a polite ‘excuse me’ to break the air. I sought space at this time, for meditation and thought and perspective. He sought with hot flesh and prodding fingers and a tired way to love me. I couldn’t be touched. The possibility of my lover touching me quite thin, as my skin was too awake and afraid. I wondered if we had anything else to give–what was left to receive from each other when we needed such different things? One day I had said “space, Justin, space…I need to be alone because I’m broken. I need to take care of this mind” and I could never tell him how my soul wept for him in loneliness. I could never tell him he could have my soul if he tried to take it.
The year before, when I was healthy, he proposed through a poem he had written, down on one knee, his hands shaking. I cried the moment I understood, and the ring glittered like snow; I was really loved. We’d lay in silence together be and making love, our minds lax and limbs jello. How I could love him then, in the floating hours of the day, and I told him through my fingertips how I loved him. We’d laugh and touch our lips together. We’d flirt with argument. Later, in the kitchen Read More