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Coffee Stains - a Dear X collab

06.11.2001

feeling kinda how a girl feels

latest topic for Dear X: longing.

Coffee Stains

dear ____ -

when i got home the other night, i was tired and worn. my days seem to be a struggle lately; this one had been especially long. and i crawled into bed, looking for sanctuary. without even thinking, i pulled the covers up and turned over, expecting to find you there.

you weren't there, of course. you haven't been there for a long time. i don't know why i thought that had changed.

i've never felt such a deep, visceral longing for something or someone. it caught me quite off guard, and snapped me awake. you've read, i'm sure, those schmaltzy books that describe grief or longing as a hollow feeling, a physical pain, the tangible sense of something missing. for once, they're right.

i could feel, in my stomach, the want and the hurt. i lay there for a few minutes, holding on, arms wrapped around my waist.

and it's not as if i wanted much. this wasn't about libido, not at all. i just wanted your warm back, your long legs bent just so, so that i could spoon myself in alongside you.

i needed you to be there, already asleep, knowing that i would be there sooner or later, after i was done working. i wanted your solid reassurance, the comfort of knowing that you were there, watching my back. i needed someone to lean against.

sadly, curling up with the cats just doesn't cut it, sweet tho they may be.

it's not that i can't do things on my own. i can, and do. i get myself to work, do my job, head off to my other job, get myself home, take care of the house and the cats and the bills. i write, and feed my face, and talk with my friends.

and when i first lived alone, it was liberating. it was the escape, the lesson, the space that i needed after my marriage. there's still much that i value about leading my own life on my own terms.

but more and more, i just want that level of connection with another soul. why did it strike me just then? the bedroom, more than any other place, is where we let down our defenses. we let another in on our deepest dreams, hopes, fears and worries there. even when you're alone, it's where you cast off the day and dream. and if we are vey lucky, there is someone there to hear us.

i crave that companionship. i miss it. i want the warmth and consolation of knowing that someone has your back for you.

instead, i fall asleep listening to Sarah.

Are there no blinds on lights that blare
white noise on the eyes
from gas station lots
and reflected ice glares
So that I can walk home
by moonlight alone.
Can we go up to where the wind howls
and stand alee against the trees
They've grown up so tall
that you can't see the house
It's a fortress now
but you know how it used to be

I could lie to myself
and say that I like it
but I would love it
if you were here
I'm just sad for myself
'cause I know that you're clear
but I would love it
if you were here.

i leave the stereo playing in the other room, and curl up under the sheets, tying to ignore this longing and just sleep.

how do i even sign this letter to you? none of the usual words seem right. so i'll just put my name, and wish you well.

beth

yesterday :: tomorrow

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