It’s a type of calm, lying underneath a desk, that you don’t get anywhere else. While you discern the sloppily scrawled messages on its underbelly, you lie on your back on the carpeted floor inside a tiny, cramped study room in the library. Beside you is curled another warm body, one arm pillowing your head, the other haphazardly thrown over your torso.
He is asleep, and you are afraid to move, lest you wake him up.
You turn your eyes towards the light that must remain on. It’s too bright, and you can’t sleep like your friend does.
He breathes gently into the side of your face, warm carbon dioxide-hydrogen-oxygen mix licking your ear like a friendly cat.
So this is what intimacy feels like.
He wakes up periodically and you talk about small things like the abstract obese penguin carelessly looped in red ink on the wall opposite you before settling down again into a peaceful silence.
“When you think about it, it is kind of weird, you know.”
You know you’re both speaking of similar, but different meanings, but you can’t bring yourself to clarify. It’s too nice, being able to be simultaneously unattached and yet so close to a person. You remain as stiff as a board in your core, yet you allow your body to soften so as to provide the illusion of comfort.
Your eyes slip shut, but you still don’t sleep. Instead, you drift silently in the darkness behind your eyelids, noting the sensory details of the small dream bubble around you. Every move, every twitch, they’re cataloged into your muscle memory.
What would it feel like to be held in the same way by someone who reciprocated your feelings?
Happy Valentines/Single’s Awareness Day!