Last May, when I first met B, I wrote, “Will I ever be comfortable? Can I be? The question runs on a loop in my brain.” I know the answer to that question now.
Yes. Yes, it’s possible for me to be physically comfortable, and yes I am. Of course the disability remains, and of course it affects all our interaction. But I do hug B with both arms. I can put my arms around him and kiss him. Sometimes I need to steady myself first. Sometimes my hugs are more of a “let me hold myself up while a gain my footing” action than a hug. Sometimes they begin one-armed while I hold onto furniture or the wall until I’m ready. But I do hug B with both arms. I don’t know when it happened that I became comfortable coming up to him and putting my arms around him, just standing in the middle of my kitchen, my head against his chest if only for a moment. I so love that I’m able to do that.
And what about my introverted self? Gone are the weekends that I ensconce myself and watch half a dozen movies or read a few books in comfortable solitude. Do I miss that? Yes. I admit that I do. I find that I live a contradiction now. On Sunday evenings when our weekend is coming to a close, I’m equal parts looking forward to my own space and missing him already. And I think that’s just the way it’s going to be. I love solitude and I love B. And that whole companionable silence idea? The one I was skeptical I’d ever experience? On a recent Sunday morning, I noticed that B’s book on the nightstand had a bookmark in it very near the end. I knew that if I were that close to the end of a book, I’d want to finish it, so I handed it over and picked up a book of my own. And we lay side by side and read our books. I felt comfortable. I found to my surprise that I could lose myself in my book, even with someone not just in the room, but right next to me in my bed. It felt lovely.
We stay in and have cooking experiments. We go out and walk around town. We see shows and watch documentaries and comedies. We’re making our way through UC Berkeley’s Edible.Education lecture series on You.Tube. We enjoy each other.