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Social Distancing - Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020
Tuesday, Mar. 03, 2020 @ 12:57 pm
He is away for the weekend.
I rise early on Saturday and cycle across the quiet city to a yoga studio in Chinatown. The neon lights turned off, shopkeepers setting out boxes of vegetables on the sidewalk. The studio is virtually empty, and the teacher touches me gently to adjust my alignment. Presses her hands into my lower back. My eyes closed. I love her touch. The sunlight streaming through lace curtains and across my body. My breath and the music and her hands warm against me.
I go home to my sunny apartment and make muffins and soup and practice dance choreography in my living room. I wander out to the shopping street and spend my birthday money on new tights and a tank top for yoga, the top soft and the perfect gentle green that sets off my gray-green eyes. In the liquor store, in front of the sweet vermouth. My phone vibrates.
Interested in a friendly run? It’s Peter, by the way.
I blink. Eight months later. Interesting.
Yes. I’ll meet you at the stretching bench in the park in an hour.
We meet and run around False Creek as the sun sets. Nothing happens, really. I ask about his mother, his sister, his brother. The water leak in his apartment. His ex. His travel plans. He asks me nothing, but I’m happy to listen to him talk. I enjoy his company, and I tease him about a few things and laugh and he touches my arm in the way that he did on our first date. At the end of the run, the sun has set, and I am shivering with cold. I hug him and say goodbye. He is warm and broad and hugs me tightly. I don’t know what he wants, what he needs, but this is nice. He is nice. He makes me laugh. I want him to be happy.
I cycle home and stand for a long time under a hot shower. I read until I fall asleep and sleep heavily until the morning.
Sunday. I rise early again and meet my father to go skiing. Pushing myself, feeling my lungs burn with the cold air. Flying through the snowy forest on my light skate skis. I miss this.
In the evening, I meet Robyn for beer in East Van.
“Why didn’t Peter ask me about my life?” I ask her.
“Ugh,” she muses, “the fragile male ego. He’s afraid to hear the answers, Shannon.”
While I am out with Robyn, Russell is returning home. Showering, eating, unpacking. Falling asleep.
I enter his dark apartment quietly. He’s left a bedside light on for me. I take off my clothes and slip under the covers. His body is hot, and he moves to curl up against me. Nuzzles into my neck, breathes me in.
“You,” I say, “I want to keep you forever.”
He responds without pause, “I hope you do.”