Half Here

There is an hour of conversation on a couch in a dimly lit living room, me twirling a wine glass in my hand, him telling me about his hobbies, how someday he might like to be a parent, and I watch his eyes, and he looks at my face, and the whole time I’m just wishing he’ll put down his drink and kiss me instead.

When I finally take it from him and take, too, his head in my hands, his lips taste almost familiar, though we have never done this before and aren’t likely too again, because I am half here and half somewhere else, suspect this makes me somehow unkind. And I wonder what it says about me that I keep choosing men for whom I can feel nothing instead of one that I might, if I am only good at this when my heart does not have to be involved, if I don’t have to let someone see it, or if the lesson I have learned is just that when they do, they don’t want it anymore.

Before I leave I watch him stand in front of the door to his deck, his back to me, the trees outside so big they blot out nearly all the moonlight, remember another man watched in such a way. I watch this man’s back, the shadows around him, the way he stands there, and I try not to think of the man I wished he’d been, not to think too, of the person I wished I’d be.

There are stars, and my windows down on the drive home through his silent neighborhood back to my own silent one, back to the bed that only I sleep in, back to all the space that only I take up, back to the heart I do not wish to give, back to the heart that feels somehow both empty and occupied at the same time. Feels, just now, both empty and occupied at the same time. Because these days I am half here and maybe half his, half always, somewhere else.

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