Okay. Hear me out. It does not sound like it would be any good. And a lot of the time, it’s not. We miss each other and the time difference is annoying and a three-way is not as hot a proposition as it might sound when Skype is the third party. I’ve spent a lot of time actively pining, which I didn’t realize was a thing outside of epistolary novels, and I’ve basically adopted a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy with myself about body hair maintenance, and sometimes I cook dinner alone and eat it while looking at old pictures of my boyfriend’s cat on my phone, but then other times I have a day like today.
On a day like today I wake up with every blanket and sheet on the bed wrapped closely around my body. It’s not a problem. Alone in the night I am the Sun, the cotton-y planets of the sheets wound tightly around me, helpless against the gravitational pull of my stomach-lyin’, hard-sleepin’ form. With a partner I have to share, but this morning I am a solitary burrito of warmth and comfort. GOOD MORNING to me.
I make breakfast by myself without even brushing my teeth because goddamnit I’m not kissing anyone this a.m., this is between me and the millions of tiny bacteria that have brewed in my gaping maw overnight. I eat breakfast and don’t do the dishes because there’s no one here to be bothered by the mess except me, and I can do them tonight or tomorrow or in a week if I want.
I make a brave attempt at yoga, alone in leggings and a sports bra and 7-10 pounds of winter chub and it is NOT cute and I don’t care because no one can see. I stew in my own sweat for a while because my shower is broken and eventually I will fix it myself like an Independent Woman but not today, today I will smell.
Then I sit at my computer and write things—including this thing—for a few hours, stopping occasionally to natter on Facebook and look out my window at a tree. I like the tree. I don’t talk to it because it seems too “Anne of Green Gables” but if I am honest I sometimes think about trying. Later I will meet two bearded gay men named Adam and we will eat a lot of pizza. We might drink too much wine or we might stick to the Dry January attempt that we are mostly using as a pretence to not hang out with people we don’t like.
Later, when I go home, I will open my computer and call my boyfriend and tell him about all of it. I might leave out the part about how bad I smell. He will tell me about the full day that he has had as well, on the other side of the ocean. I’ll probably show him my boobs or something and he’ll say they look great and we’ll say stupid, gushy things and feel sooooo far away from each other in a way that is both extremely agonizing and so angst-y and teenaged it is almost pleasurable. We’ll miss each other and feel happy and sad and talk about when we will see each other again. Then I’ll close my computer and get in bed to sleep and feel cold, in there on my own, so I’ll pull my blankets around me very close.
I could do all this stuff with/in front of my boyfriend. It would not bother him to see me struggle to contort my winter buns into a long, strong Sun Salutation or weird him out to join a bunch of loud gay guys for dinner or stop him from doing so if he wanted to kiss me with my bad breath mouth. But sometimes it’s just so, so nice to do all of that alone, knowing I can tell him (or send a video, a picture or a string of relevant emoji, this is 2014, after all) about it later, but experience it all to myself just now. People hear about long distance relationships and presume you are spending a lot of time alone. They are right, but what they don’t know or mention or think about is that, separated from a loved one, even time on your own is a shared experience; the two of you are alone together.
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