It happened today, when you could instantly tell from my voice alone that something was wrong. You made me tell you about my overprotective parents, and by the end I could hardly choke out the words. But you assured me that we’d find a way. You called them your future in-laws, and a smile spread across my tear-soaked face. I said nothing, but for that infinite moment, I cried tears of happiness.
It happened that night when we lay in our separate beds, in our separate cities, bridging the miles the only way we can, with our words. You asked me about my favorite things, but specifically you asked me what I love. Hearing you say the word, I couldn’t help but imagine it being flanked by the words I and You. I listed things like the color black, the beach, moonlight, shopping, but in the pauses, I wracked my brain; all I could think of was you.
It happened when I texted you saying that I felt like dancing and asked if you felt like flying to the moon. You responded that you’d packed your bags and were ready to go. Your next text was a picture you drew of us, in a spaceship, on our way to the moon.
When you acted worried about the sexual innuendo of my Halloween costume. I assured you that you’d be the only passenger on this magic carpet.
It crossed my mind that time you said you wanted to throw me in a pile of autumn leaves; we could be children again. I said we’d need antihistamines first, but you replied that your love was a natural antihistamine; it’d be all we need. I spend the rest of the day fantasizing about the magical properties of your love.
It almost slipped out that time we talked about gravity and mass and what we call knowledge. We talked about science and magic and existentialism, acid and hallucinogens, Harry Potter. We laughed so hard, and then you said, “You get me.” The feeling was mutual. That night, “good night” just wasn’t enough.
It hovers at the tip of my tongue when we’re at the airport and I’m going to miss my flight if this goodbye lasts any longer; but I can’t let go. I just want to fill my lungs one more time with the smell of your skin, press your palm to my cheek, hold you close. I hope that with my arms wrapped around you, you understand that my arms are saying the words cannot yet say.
I hope it’s on your mind too, because I don’t know if I have the courage. But you make me better, you make me stronger, you help me grow. One day you will help me grow beyond those almosts. Until then, I will wear out the words in my mind, embroidering them into the fabric of your name and the image of your face, and the sound of your voice saying it back to me.
To fate regarding long distance relationships:
I don’t know what trickery you are playing. I’m here and he’s there, and between us there are miles upon miles, and of course…you. You torment us with endless longing and the cold side of the bed. But I just want you to know, we have unlimited nights and weekend minutes and unlimited texts! Take that! There are flights and layovers and more flights, delays and seats unfit for the human spine. But we have passionate reunions in baggage claims and that first kiss feeling, every single time.
You test our ability to go long periods of time without sex. Fate, you can be truly cruel. But this is a battle you will lose. We have masturbation and embarrassingly inappropriate texts. And every once in a while, we get to feel like teenagers again, having sex on all semi-sturdy surfaces. True, chaffing is a potential problem, but for that, we have whiskey.
I may never comprehend why you, he, and I collided where and when we did, but despite all the agony it has brought me, I would like to thank you. Perhaps, after all, you have good intentions. Now don’t get me wrong, I will continue to resent you but underneath it all, I am grateful.
I’m grateful for the late night phone calls, the “I miss you” spoken unsolicited because he truly misses me. Nothing makes my day like the sound of his voice saying that he’s thinking of me, all the time, everywhere. I love his good morning texts, the postcard he mailed me, the picture of his penis.
Some days I agonize over the absence of his touch or yearn for the softness in his voice that whispers, “what you feel, I feel it too.” But Fate, you’ve taught me that being vulnerable is an essential part of loving and being loved. I remind myself to be both strong and weak. Strong while I’m here; trusting that what I have is worth the wait, worth both our waits. But also weak, and keeping down those walls and allowing myself to feel that longing and sadness for the wonderfully-flawed individual who fills in the cracks of my own imperfections.
So my enigmatic friend, Fate, I wish to thank you and curse you for your meddlesome schemes that have brought me here, and him there. And for now, I will place my faith and hopes on Time, and a good mileage rewards program.