It’s a regular night with you; we’re stuck in quarantine together. This strange world we’re living in now affects our moods as easily as the changes in the phases of the moon. It has tested our patience with each other to the core. But tonight was more than serene–you worked, and I went to my classes. After, we took a nap, which had become a habit of ours, keeping us up watching 3 am TV and adding to the daily dilemmas of a pandemic. But how I love the comfort of security and how time stops, giving us rest for a few hours, so we can dream.
For these moments, I often feel like we’re the only people that exist. To be frank, when we first started dating, holding you close was the scariest thing I had ever done. But over time, the only thing that scares me now is the thought of letting you go. Like when you speak your ancestral tongue for the first time, how it ricochets off your tongue awkwardly when you first meet, but eventually, it melts like butter, smooth and perfect. I never want to lose you. You, clay colored skin, black hair, you are definite, perfectly sculpted, and I was the broken vessel that only you could fix.
Before I met you, I was healing wounds that another left. The one before you didn’t just break my heart, it broke all the parts that made me who I was. I spent years with that person but tried to escape so many times. Not that I was being held captive against my will, but my mind was constantly manipulated into staying. When it finally ended, I didn’t know who I was anymore, I felt as if life was draining out of my veins. I was an empty cloud occupying space inside my body. I was terrified to unravel the parts of myself that let people in. But then I met you. You have helped me find myself again.
I always feel like a whole person with you, like I never have to hide who I am. If I replay my whole life in my mind, I can see that I have not felt that much ease with someone before. For how we strip our skin down, talk about the past, to connect ourselves to one another. I am reminded that you are more than a love, you are the other half of me. Our comfort loves one another; it craves to spend all minutes of time together and becomes unsettled when we are apart. That miraculous thing love does where it connects you to a deeper part of yourself. When you find the person, you can reach down inside yourself and pull out the truest parts of your being with.
These nights are my favorite when we awake from hibernation. I love how simple our days can be together, yet still feel exciting and fresh. We finally get out of bed and take a small walk to find our meal for the night. The world feels empty at these times; seeing how people go out of their way to avoid contact makes even my introverted soul uneasy. There’s a lot of loneliness floating in the air with the winter blues, making it difficult to see our warm future. But I’m glad I can experience this with you. We make our way back home, food in one hand, yours in the other, talking back and forth. We’re still getting used to finding the right volume, even still, when a piece of cloth is spread across our faces.
I admire the cold night, how the fog paints the sky, putting a blurred filter over the moon. I like how sweatpants are always acceptable at these hours and the way I miss the sun, like an old friend I can always call tomorrow. We make it home, discard the fabric and take out our food, utensils in hand, always tapping our forks together, before a bite is taken, our way of giving thanks. There were days when we couldn’t enjoy these small luxuries together, so we never take this for granted. These moments I cherish, because between the bites of food, laughter always sneaks its way in, followed by inside jokes and memories of our early years. This is one of my favorite times to be human.
The night begins to wind down again, and a soft slumber is starting to call us from ivory bed sheets. But first, we do Korean face masks, lusher and more human than the fabric masks we must use everywhere in our daily lives now. There are fits of laughter that burst from our throats, for the way the face masks always seem to find the oddest way to lay. Laughing with you is something that intoxicates my whole body. Your stark humor is something I like to back-pocket and pull out on the bad days. An anchor to keep me from straying.
And then it’s here, the grand finale of our day. It is time for us to rest again, before we go back to our work in the morning. Before it’s time for us to enter back into reality. We end the night with sacred pillow talk, the kind that whispers to you in your sleep, hugging you when you’re alone. I hold you a little closer at these hours because something about the dead of night feels too heavy. But laying here with you feels like I am returning to the sacredness of my mother’s womb again. This safe place where I always want to lay my head down at night. This peaceful protectiveness of quiet. I thank the stars that sit outside the window, cool sheets, and bed with just enough space for two. But after, I always thank the world, the universe, creator, whoever it was that took me to you. You make up all things that help me rest under the moon’s soft eyes and eager to be kissed every morning by the sun.