So this is what it feels like to be close to someone.
It’s been months since I’ve been here, wrapped up in carnal embrace, feeling flesh upon flesh, the heaving of skin and the danger of proximity to another human being. It’s been months since I felt that this was okay, that it was okay for me to be naked and next to someone else. I have been altogether too frightened to strip down in the darkness and lay down next to another body, to experience some iteration of mutual tenderness with eyes closed and no one looking. There is something harrowing about the prospect of rejection, or maybe just physical pain. There is something very risky about being vulnerable, and I have been too vulnerable lately to bear the hurt that being close to someone always seems to imply.
But here I am, and I am doing it. And it is not nearly as awful or terrifying as I thought it would be. Although why would I think that soft human contact would be awful? I guess there’s something to be said for the last time I was here and how much it hurt. There’s something to be said for the caliber of man who held me in his clutches and made something that most people experience so wonderful into something that I came to dread. But we shall not speak of these things in moments like this, because I can feel myself wincing at the memory of him.
And it’s been much longer since I felt okay with exhaling while in the embrace of someone else. It’s been so long since I could lie here like these and feel like everything was going to work out in the end. Closeness with other people has been fraught with anxiety of impending doom, encroaching chaos. But for now I am locked in a moment of calm, and I try not to sigh because that would give away the fact that I feel content for right now. Contentment is easily robbed from a woman like me. Instead, I close my eyes and hope he never leaves me, even though I know he will be going soon. But he will come back, too, which is what counts the most, and I kick back in quick fantasies that recreate this very moment over and over again in different hues and tints until I can find myself back here where everything is going to be okay.