He said, do you feel distance between us again? I had to smile sadly, and say yes. I told him how I felt it was happening, I told him how I thought it might be something he just had to be, to do. He was quiet and reflective and bid me goodnight early, and left.
He said, now you know everything about me. Now there are no more secrets. Now you will hate me and turn your face away. And he started to turn, in fact, to leave and never speak to me again, and I caught his sleeve, shaking my head. What did it matter, I told him, what did any of it matter, save for we cared for each other? He shook his head and left, possibly unconvinced.
He said, I should rest. I should care for myself. He hugged me many, many times, and I sighed, smiling, and asked if this meant he was no longer client, but friend. He smiled ruefully, saying he thought it was better this way. I shrugged, because I need clients, or I'm never going to make rent, but...I also agree. I've grown to care for him more than I thought I would, and he offers me the solace of his shoulder to cry on, or a listening ear, when I desire it. These are very good things.
He said, he was nervous. It had been so long since we'd been together without him having to leave, or my having to leave, so long since nothing untoward has happened....he was nervous with me. Nerves on both sides made us tentative with each other, then made me desperate and him teasing, and once we figured out the piano wasn't going to fall from the cloudless sky...made us both a little crazed. The distraction I'd sought, the physical joy to ease the heart's distress...suddenly I was weaving on my feet, shuddering and exhausted, overjoyed but wanting to stop...which is not something I usually need or want. He laughed, agreeing with me, but full of his old confidence again...so I can't begrudge the time spent.
And he said...damn it, girl, where are you, I need to you to take pictures for me...and I very nearly laughed in his face. Not to disrespect him, or to hurt him, but after the night I had...oh, it was just too funny.
At least he's never wanted to join the circle of existing challenges to love and limb...he just wants me to work for him, and contact people, and bring him what I've found.
Though, on occasion, he does wonder what it would be like...and I've admitted, I do too.
But one more spark of magnesium intensity, bright and flaring, I do not need...too much intensity in my life makes my heart race, and not in good ways. Plus, I'm slightly out of balance now, juggling the hearts I have...I truly do not need more at this point.
"So remember when we were driving
Driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone..."
("Fast Car", Tracy Chapman)
Belonging. Sometimes it's like a drug. Sometimes it's like standing in the attic, listening to the wind whistle through the empty room, wondering where the other part of me went. Sometimes I'm patient enough to wait for their return.
Sometimes I'm not.
But I'm working on it...