Lovers Can Care About Each Other

I was wide-awake and wired, I hadn’t slept properly in weeks so I got up. I pulled on an oversized t-shirt, tied my hair into a bun and curled up on the stool in front of my kitchen island.  I sipped some lukewarm tea and quietly opened my laptop while he dozed in my bed. He’s one of the only people I’ve ever written in front of and I finished off a particularly difficult piece that night before I crawled back into bed with him.

Last night he asked me if I had ever written about him.

I hadn’t.

Last night he asked me if I was writing at all.

I wasn’t.

“You have to write,” he said.

“I’ll write a book about you,” I told him “and when you’re famous, I’ll tell everyone you’re the subject and I’ll sell lots of copies.” 

We laughed but I suspect that he would actually let me do it because he's the kind of person that wants you to be happy.

He’s a musician. I’ve never heard him play, but I’m certain that he’s quite good because of the way his face lights up when he talks about guitars, Sam Cooke and the Chitlin Circuit. I’m not convinced he’s real, partly because he reminds me so much of a fictional character from a novel about art, love and adversity but, mostly, because when he’s around he gives me just what I need and I think that maybe my brain dreamt him up to try and trick me into thinking I’m ok.

Last night I broke down in front of him.

He wrapped me up.  

“What are you thinking about” he asked me.

‘That I’m tired of doing it on my own” I told him.

“What we do is the best part of a relationship,” he tried to reassure me. “But I understand if you’ve never had that before,” he validated me.

That.

Steady.

Safe.

Reliable.

Committed.

Mine.

His.

That.

We don’t have ‘that’. We have ‘this’.

This.

A tiny, cozy bubble of bed covers, tea and skin.

Short periods of time.

Intermittent.

Sporadic.

A strange and confusing world in which you can somehow know someone both intimately and not at all.

This.

‘This’ is what is often referred to as casual. But casual is not the right word; because casual hurts and this, somehow, does not. This touch is not all mine but this touch does not degrade me, diminish me or damage me. This touch comforts me, pleases me and calms me. This person does not take from me or drain me. This person gives to me and builds me. This, I know, ultimately, will not be enough, but this is still good and kind and loving.  

Last night he told me lovers can care about each other and I’m starting to believe him.