the art of being intimate

In the almost two years I’ve spent with my lover, we’ve spent about three weeks together in person.

How we come to share the greatest number of intimate moments out of all the people in my life when we spend 98% of our relationship 7,939 miles away is beyond me.

I used to believe that the word intimacy denoted and connoted only sex. That the only way you can be fully intimate with someone is if you have sexual relations with them.

The first intimate moment my lover and I had was not a hand hold, or a kiss, or anything beyond that, but a conversation.

It was the summer before we got together, and I asked her to tell me her backbone story. She remembered this. Two years later and she still brings it up as one of the best things I’ve done: actually, genuinely, wanted to get to know her and what shaped her into the person she is today.

The second came shortly after that, when she opened up to me about how she felt being away from home. Now, at the time, we barely even knew each other; the most I knew about her was that she moved away for her career and she thought her penmanship was shitty. We’ve never held hands, or kissed, or anything beyond that; but we had a conversation, and it was enough to tie that first string of intimacy around our fingers.

She is sleeping on FaceTime while I type this post away in my school’s library. I look at her from time to time, during line breaks, and I am almost moved to tears because of how much I know I love her. Today marks ten months since we’ve held each other in person last, but our last intimate moment was just ten minutes before she fell asleep today, when I confessed to her that I am now a sucker for physical affection when before I used to hate it with all of my passions.

I look at people walking in this library and I am sure that they’ve shared intimate moments with people they love and even people they don’t love (maybe not yet, maybe not at all). And I am happy that we’ve all experienced our forms of intimacy.

But I wonder whether people realize that there are deep intimate moments found in things other than physicality.

In a whispered “I love you,” or a parked car conversation about God, or an intense silence after watching a heavily loaded movie scene.

I have found ways to wind my intimacy through the open air and over the open seas to reach my lover who is 7,939 miles away. This post being written while she is asleep and all I can feel is my love for her is one.

Find another.

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