Monday, Aug. 20, 2018 @ 9:00 am
In the spring, I hear that Chris is seeing someone.
I email him once or twice over the summer - a continuation of an inside joke, asking about his family. I hear nothing back. It's a relief, in a way, to know that he's tied up with someone else, but at the same time I ache inside. For the most part, the ache is distant. A far off sound of a train crossing dinging, so a part of my emotional landscape that it's nearly impossible to hear yet my life would be strangely silent without it.
My phone pings at 9pm. I've turned off notifications and unsubscribed from everything - the only pings I get are actual personal communication items. I get up and go over to look at my phone. It's Chris.
A lengthy note. Bland, formal, and cordial. A specific mention of a trip to Nepal in the spring with two male friends.
I brush it off. My life is here. I'm with Daniel.
You're not in love with him. You're in love with the way that you feel when you are around him.
We spend the weekend with Daniel's sister and her kids. Two little boys, full of energy and emotions. I spend the weekend contemplating whether I want this for myself. With Daniel. The pieces don't fit together. I don't want him as a father. Not now, not yet. I go over to hug him and put my head on his shoulder, and he says, "What was that for?" And my heart pulls in on itself. I don't want to cause another human to feel this kind of hurt.
And then I dream of Chris. The alternate reality. He knocks on the door, and I answer it. We grab each other and hug, the rain from his Gore-Tex soaking into my clothes. I pull him by the beltloops closer to me, and he kisses into my neck.
I wake up shakey and bewildered, feeling guilty for what I did with Chris in my dream. Desparately wanting to feel loved and wanted.
I walk down from the attic to the room where Daniel sleeps. The floor creaks and the house groans as I move through it. I riffle through the closet for my pants and sweater. He turns over in bed.
Hi. I say