Saturday, March 21, 2020

What I Miss About Being Near You


We are near each other, sitting side by side on the somewhat punishing cushion of our kitchen banquette. You notice the little hair coming out of my chin that catches the sunlight. I see the fleck of amber in your left iris. You notice how the skin around my eyes fans out when I smile.


Here, have you tried this cinnamon turmeric tea? It's supposed to cure being human. I think it makes you immortal or something. Let me pour you a cup. Bitter? A little. We can cut it with these oatmeal cookies I just made, and the cranberries, sour. Bitter, sour, and lumpy. Welcome to teatime at Jenny's!


When I spill the tea all over the table, we both reach for the nearest napkins, and press them into the spreading pool. What a klutz I have always been. Forgive me. Our hands touch, and we play that pile up game where the hand on the bottom slides out and goes to the top, until we're a mess of hands and napkins. We laugh.


Oh, your laugh! God, I love laughing. It's all I want to do. When I am near you, I hear your breath. That's the poetry of the body, the inhale, exhale, langorous sigh, bubbling laughter. Your voice is a syncopation that reminds me of watching the insides of a piano when it is being played.


When you stand up to get another splash of milk for the tea, I smell the laundry detergent you used this week coming off your clothing from the heat of your body. You detect the hint of my unwashed hair, and we both catch, through the open window, the scent of spring air. You say, "It's a long time coming." I agree. That lift of life scent is a long time coming, every single year we get to experience it.


Hip hitch when you stand (aging), the slightest lean forward from the chest (your heart leads you), and then a glide that is somewhere between sailboat and assuring door latch. Your hands puppet the words you speak, bring them to life. And when something strikes you as really funny, you put your hand over your heart and your head tilts back so I can see right up your nostrils, almost right into your brain. An invitation into what you're thinking.


Our bodies are not a boundary between us and the rest of the world.

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