Looking Back: A Goodbye

I’ve never seen him cry before. Even now he tries to choke it back, hide it. He never could handle weakness, in himself or in me. I can't quite be strong enough for him.

I don't know how to respond. He doesn't talk like this. I want so desperately to soothe him, but I have even less of an idea of what’s coming than he does. I'm getting out of here, in just a few hours. Out of this stale basement room, where there's no light and no air. I hope that I'll finally be able to breathe after the life I’ve been trapped in for months, but it’s so unknown. I could just as easily be jumping from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. Plus, I won’t have M.

He clutches at me. Normally I call it the koala move. He is my Koala Ninja, lurking around and pouncing on me with tight marsupial embraces. Now, though, I wouldn’t call it cute. He holds on so tight that I can barely move, like he won't let go. He will let go, though, in the morning, and I love him so much for that.

Tonight is the first time we have been in a bed alone, the first time my parents have let him stay with me. It feels like the last. The last night. The last night? Last.

I cry, too, but the tears are unashamed and so, so wet on my cheeks.

“We can do it. I know we can.”

3,000 miles. Of course we can make it. We can make it. We are too close for this distance to pull us more than literally apart.

I touch his lips with mine, gently. I can't stop his tears, but I can hold his self with my mouth. His long, long hair is soft against my hands, except where it's wet from the tears. I love his hair. It’s grown on me in the last nine months. I will miss the comfort of running my hands through it.

And I will miss this. I will miss the way he is twirling that same piece of my hair as we kiss. I will miss the way he tenses when I kiss his neck. I will miss the way he touches my back, now that I’ve turned around to point it towards him. I will miss the way he’s not afraid to be the big spoon, cradling me from behind as though I were smaller and precious and he could take care of me. I will miss his kisses on the back of my neck.

I've got to feel everything now. I have to let the sensations stick to me, let them live in my skin. I won't be touched for a long time. The only thing I'll feel against me is air.

I know some part of each of us thinks that the distance and our flaws will rip us apart. We stroke and touch. The sensations have a weight that less desperate love making rarely finds, falling on our bodies like concrete cries.

He lies behind me—spooning—and he holds me and enters from behind. We move together, a dance of comfort and habit and loss, and he holds the vibrator to me. I can feel it on the outside, and I know he can feel it on the inside, and he makes a noise I’ve never heard from him before. So full of longing and feeling, but now I have to leave. Such a union, and now I have to go.

I hold him inside me and around me and we come together and come together and come together and come, and then lie there and fall asleep. Together, in my own bed. Pretending, so we can sleep, that this won’t be the last time.


"Hi, M." 200 minutes on my cell phone so far. It's only been three weeks.

"Hey, you."

"God, it's so much better here."


On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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