on a roadtrip back

It’s not that I don’t want to see you. It’s just that there will be this need to catch up, to cram the easy intimacy we had and miss into a few hours. And to get ahead, to reel all our plans and fears and love onto our tongues and give them to each other to unspool in our thoughts later and that’s not how our friendship was. And I have none of those, now. You rest in your context and by it interpret yourself, but I am ripped from mine with no new one waiting. I must build it for myself, and until I have another home I must keep the memory of this one unchanged, see?

If I come back, when you ask me how I’m doing, what am I to say? I cannot summarize the highs and lows and bland ache of my days and pack it into the events that have occurred during our parting, and the births and breakups and career changes that must be listed and discussed as if they matter to me, miles and miles away. As if they had any significance other than my caring. Because irrevocably I care for you.

But I do care for you, love you in fact, and so I will brightly deny barriers growing between us and chatter off my heart knowing it may be misunderstood without hours and days of light contact to make sense of me, without bumping into each other often and seeing the shadows of feeling flitting across us and understanding the course of clouds casting them. A cross section, that’s what you’ll have, and I’ll cut it deeply for the sake of what was, and I don’t begrudge it because I care and I know you care and how can I deny what we had even if we no longer do? That would hurt you, and so me and our memory. But a cross section of my heart will cut into arteries I’d rather pretend don’t exist. So ask me how I am and listen truly for the answer and give grace when I give plastic cheer or flippant pain.

But don’t you see, it would be so much simpler if I didn’t come at all? If we both pretended that, back together, all would be as it was? If my clipped texts and snapshots were left blithely empty? At least until I have a new home, let me pretend my old is untouched.

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