Longing Distance

I didn’t notice it at the time or in any of the moments, I wasn’t mindful, didn’t even know back then that mindfulness was even a thing, but it somehow always seemed like we weren’t meant to be in the same place — like we could only really sustain things if there was distance involved, breaks between physical presence and contact, an unattainability that prohibited full commitment and that I took an inexplicable comfort in.

We needed the barrier that inherently comes with involuntary physical separation, the time spent across several thousand miles and state lines, several bodies of water, the number of which depended on the route and mode of transportation, the time elapsing between tangibly shared memories made face-to-face or physically, sans a screen.

That I was okay when you were missing was the ultimate sign that something was missing.

We both said we lived for those weekends or times when we would finally see each other, but the sad truth of the matter is that by the time they were over, and often before they ended, I was ready to go, to return to being pseudo-alone, to sprawling out in my bed by myself and repeating, albeit unconvincingly, that I couldn’t wait to see you again, all the while internalizing and refusing to acknowledge that our goodbyes at airports and train stations and in parking lots late at night were moments I looked forward to. And for the wrong reasons.

I know you wanted nothing more than to be with me. Same city. Same neighborhood. And, someday, the same home. You longed for that, and I longed for when I would be ready for that.

But I longed for too long, became comfortable in it, this stasis, this satisfaction with a person to be with who I wasn’t actually always with.

And now the longing is all I have.