No “stopping by” my apartment on his way to somewhere else. Visits are meticulously planned because they are rare. No physical presence, just a phone call away, let’s spontaneously grab a coffee or a drink after a long day at work. Instead, four walls, a computer screen full of meaningful subtext, a Skype date as an extra-special treat. No playful banter in passing, but flirty texts when I remember to check my phone.
I crave proximity, settle for stolen artifacts from visits past, a sweater, a ticket stub, a blanket, a stray sock. Inanimate objects that prove he was here, objects with contrived meaning that seep his warmth, his smell until they become more clutter, objects that I have to treasure because they are the only part of him that’s tangible, the only part I can hold fast to when I wake up lonely in the middle of the night.