It had been five days (which maybe isn't that long considering deployment) but it was long enough to make an anxious woman out of me. Last week was more challenging than the ones before. Late at night I ached for him, I still ache for him - just to make faces at me from the other side of the sofa or grab me in the kitchen for an exaggerated dip, the crown of my head nearly brushing the floor, or the word trying to glide from his lips, "sweetheart."
I've gotten used to feeling nothing, but it isn't me. Even though I wear it, it feels funny on. Then on the phone he thanked me for this silly card I sent a month ago, sprayed with my scent and covered in lipstick kisses. He said that it made his day and despite his delayed gratitude he wanted me to know. There is so little of us in this condition. We are maintaining what exists when he's home and so the blips of thoughtfulness have a fracturing effect. This painful equilibrium crumbles so that I can hear him again in my thoughts.
He says, "That wet towel on the bed will mildew."
He says, "Half a jar of Nutella will spoil dinner."
And, "Sweet dreams. I love you."