I was making a break for forested air, cool and compact, chaotic and inviting. There, in the thick of dense and delicate avoidance, I’d hide away in gentle webs.
I was set on running away from the kind of closeness that comes when you let someone in. Fearful, yes, of exposing the wrinkled cuffs of my pressed blouse, the jarring snippets of my sad dadlessness.
But tonight the grip came, caught me by the ankles and dragged with care. No coldness of touch, no signs of bruising, and a painless avalanche of newness poured radical thought hot as lava, discolored as dish-soap a top a man who’d surely run. He didn’t. He looked my crazy square in reddening eyes, cupped my drooping face, glorified my humanness and I could feel him feel with me.
I think they call that empathy. And I think they call this collaborative conquest against the tawny-eyed grief monsters a relationship. Support. That I could be so genially guarded, and think it possible to control what he sees through selective emoting, tightens the twists on my curly little head. From tonight on, I’m done running for the woods.