He calls me, on the phone.
It sounds unremarkable, that this love of mine should do such a thing. Is this what lovers do, when they aren’t together for a few days, or months, or years? Call each other on phones? Not simply to ask a mundane question, or schedule something, but to talk, to listen, to utter caressing words, to bear witness, to give voice to gratitude, to thrill at the notes of excitement and laughter, to genuinely want to know how was your day?, to say I love you?
Maybe he thinks I’m strange, how jolted I am by this new phenomenon. We talked about it. I tried to tell him, I have a bit of a hard time with phones. Oh, and I figured I shouldn’t call during the week, because you must be busy. And I’m scared of how attached I already feel, right when I’m gearing up to move far away next season—my heart hurts already.
All my paltry excuses. He calls me anyway. I made up my mind that I would call him today, but he beat me to it. He might be getting a sense of how anxious I can get, how I flee even in the midst of this gorgeous, voluptuous experience of mutual enthrallment. I hardly know what to do with the tenacity of his attention.
He doesn’t want me to hold back. This bewilders me. I’m the no-longer-wild creature who has been in the confines of the zoo too long, habituated to confinement, suddenly released, standing at the mouth of the open cage, trembling. I gaze at him like a tame deer, he says. He likes it, I think, the contrast between my vulnerability and surrender, and my rebelliousness. What is it you are? he asks. A radical relationship-ist? He smiles and teases me nine ways to Sunday.
He tells me, I want you to ask for what you want. I ask for an object that I can carry with me, from him, that will remind me of him when we’re not together. He gives me a tritium vial that glows in the dark, just like the stars and planets on his bedroom ceiling. It’s perfect. I take it everywhere. I am never without it.