I’ve spent most of the day looking through our Facebook chat history. I’ve moved back in time from the cordial present through the turbulent recent past to a forgotten, thrilling, now distant past, the past in which we discovered each other as minds before we touched each other’s bodies.
Knowing you’re here, in the same time zone and the same city, almost takes me back to a body that I inhabited three, four, five years ago, when we both lived and studied here, crossing paths to go to film festivals and concerts. This room felt a certain way then – it buzzed lightly with the anticipation of messages from you before bed. Going to sleep then wasn’t a resignation or a struggle – it was an adventure. A smile would catch my face in its last waking moments; another would gently tug it into waking. The end of a day in college was rife with the possibility of meeting you; the knowledge that a friend’s birthday party was approaching meant a chance to get dressed up and have a few drinks with you. It was all discovery and laughter – a full, innocent presence.
Now I feel I have come full circle. On my own, without your prompting, I am seeking out images and songs that excite and inspire me. Is it because of all those years of baring ourselves to each other that these also happen to be things you’d like? Have you left such a deep imprint in me, in my aesthetic? Or is it just that we really are built in such a way that we align? Meeting you after a year, hearing an idea you had that echoed one that I’ve had, pushes some of the pain away and makes me curious to learn more about you as you are now – to find you again.
What does this feel like for you, I wonder – being back in a place they say is your home, but where you suddenly feel jetlagged in every way? Does the air here remind you of me, of evenings spent dreaming of getting closer? Does the night make you think of late phone calls heavy with longing and trembling with a fear of the intimacy it would bring?
Maybe she knows you as you have been for the past year – far away from home, immersed in new challenges, discovering deeper truths about yourself. Maybe this is it, and you will stand by your decision to be with her. Maybe you will continue to give her as you never gave me – as I dreamed you’d give me. But sitting here, in the same bed I sat in all those years ago, my heart racing at the sight of an online notification telling me you’ve liked something I shared online, listening to the soundtrack of the moment when you will finally read this, it’s as natural as the breeze outside to feel like you’ll be looking for me, too.