I see my boyfriend's face and it is kind, and good, and guileless. This makes him sound dull. He is far from dull. He puts his arms around me, even from thousands of miles away, and whispers in my ear. He pushes me when I need it in the way that you would push a skittish horse. He's smooth. Yes, that's the word. I see his face on the screen of my laptop and he says, you need to write something today. He flutters his hands about like a butterfly, as if he were a dancer describing "writing." It's like jazz hands. I mimic him. He laughs. I demur. We are in sync. What he's saying is, if you don't write, you'll be unhappy, and if you're unhappy, guess who gets it? He has a face I love, craggy, dented with lines, beautiful, his mouth like that of a sweet dog, just perfect and kind; he smiles at me when he sees my face, at other times he doesn't. He misses me. I miss him. We forget who we are. And then we don't. I see his face and it reminds me of all that is good. I see his face and it reminds me of who I am, and takes me away from the dry warmth, the heavy branches sagging beneath it, the dying grass, the brown-ness that is Los Angeles in August, the fires, the politics, the deadness, the ants that have invaded my house, tiny and purposeful, the great weight of the heat, and sprinkles cool, English water in my face.
Having always had tricky men in my life, I create great burning hoops for him to jump through. I can't help it. I don't mean to be unkind, but I think I might be. If this were courtly love, he has won my heart. He protests not once to any of the tests, and arrives always on a white horse, with my handkerchief on his sword. I swoon, I berate myself, I am grateful. All of those things.
I miss him.