As usual, I meet him on the street outside my building. Sometimes we call to one another in the dark, a high-pitched chirp or squawk. It's one of the wonderfully dumb us-isms that make too much time apart start to hurt. Amazing how the silliest bonds can be some of the strongest.

Tonight I just silently smile and open my arms in invitation. Nothing in this world like the feel of him, after a break. Weeks of tension and loneliness melt off of me and I unwind, finally relaxed in the security of our reunion. I am entirely too dependent on his love, entirely too hinged on the ups and downs of our relationship - but the world has grown terrifying and awful and I need him. I unapologetically need him.

"I got some licorice," he announces, and I see telltale bits of red in his perfect, bright smile. "And I have a surprise for you."

We stay so long on the sidewalk, hugging, saying hello, and just breathing one another in, that someone on a patio nearby cracks a joke. We don't quite catch it, something teasing or perhaps mildly derogatory. 

"I haven't seen this fool in three weeks," I explain to the voice. I take his hand and lead him to the gate. "We have work to do," I add, over my shoulder.

But we don't get five feet before he stops me, needing to reconnect now, here, it can't even wait until we get upstairs. This is a thing he does, a thing about him I love so much. His urgency to get everything out that he needs to tell me, right away. He needs me to know all the things that are on his mind about us, about me, about how he feels. How he's missed me, how much he's thought of me, how he can't wait to show me this that or the other thing he's gotten for me or for us. Sometimes there are apologies in this outpouring; often soothing reassurances (see above reference to insecurity). And it's all laced together with the most exquisite demonstration of physical affection. He slides his fingers around the back of my neck, his thumb along my jaw, looking me straight in the eye. He presses his forehead to mine, wraps me up in his arms, growling at the feel of my body again after so long. Deep sighs, whispers, compliments. Bliss.

Whenever he does this, I am reminded of how it feels when, on a chilly day, the sun comes out from behind the clouds. A sense of relief and gratitude for the return of warmth. Being back in the sunshine of his love is an all too real, visceral comfort. 

We stop another two times before getting to the elevator. And even when we get to my floor, he won't let me out of his arms, won't stop talking to me, loving on me. The elevator door closes on us twice before we make it out. In the span of five minutes - just being near him again with all his warm bright sunlight energy - my very immune system has boosted. I can fucking feel it. I can feel how happiness is flooding my bloodstream, like a drug.


Star machine.

Star machine.

I know it's called something else, a laser sky or a galaxy projector, whatever. But I'm calling it the star machine.

The feel of you. You need to know. I need you to know. I don't trust this world anymore, I don't trust it not to take you away from me. I don't trust myself not to lose you. So you need to know.

The feel of you.

We say puzzle pieces, but do you really understand? It's lock and key. I can barely let my mind settle on how perfect you are, it feels dangerous, like I'll never get some part of myself back, if you go. You think I hate when you sleep, but sometimes, sometimes when you sleep it's my favorite thing because then I can just look at you. The lines of your body, you don't know. You have no idea, but you should. From your cheek down your neck across your shoulders down your back to your waist. You should know. Anything could happen, so you should know.

You should know that when we are twinned up, entwined, smiling at one another in unimaginable bliss, that it's like nothing I've known. You release and ignite something in me that no one ever has, and you should fucking know it. 

Look at me and tuck my hair behind my ear. Twist it in your fingers. Press your face to my body and whisper how beautiful I am, how much you've missed me. When you do these things I'm not even sure I'm myself anymore. How could I be? How could I be the same person that has to get up, get dressed, leave, be a person, pay bills. Not possible.

Stay with me in this space we have created, we can keep it perfect if we try. Don't go away too long, please. Don't forget how this feels. Everything out there is awful but in here there is only our love and our laughter and we are safe. Don't go away too long. 

Bring the sunshine back soon.