Intimacy. Intimate. Close. Love. True friendship.
They seem so unattainable sometimes.
Talking, not speaking. Hearing, not listening.
Conversations stuck at the surface, floating.
Feeling defeated when you cast about for some way
To get to know this face.
'How are you doing?' 'How are things?'
A chat coming to a screeching halt after these responses:
'Fine', 'Can't complain', 'Good'.
You hate these responses, these questions
Yet you dish them out in equal measure, unable to think
Of something deeper to say.
We're stuck now.
Looking at each other. Not knowing what to say.
We try on various attempts to get a meaningful response,
A deeper answer.
The promise of communion slipping through our fingers.
I'm chasing that intangible feeling of being connected;
maybe being close is for special people. Normality is meant
For mere existence.
We meet. We talk. Casual interactions. Nothing special.
I say what you want to hear; you interrupt only if
My body language and expression allow it. Weeks pass.
I tell you the truth. I watch keenly as its taste, its effects
Register on your face. You manage to swallow it down.
Tomorrow you draw a line. You say I can be better than this.
I know you're right, but I insist on my wrong.
Slowly we move: from tolerance to grudging acceptance.
Time flows on.
Now we sit in companionable friendship. Lighter than the care
Of years ahead, more responsible than the times before.
The same conversation. With more layers and nuances than it had
In the beginning.
I now know a significant amount of your silences, their shades,
what they mean and when they mean what they mean.
I still need to be reminded of those I forget, from time to time.
With discomforting side effects.
You know how to subtly disagree with me. Not too much
That I leave in a blind rage, ignoring you and what you said
For weeks on end, but enough to make the point stick.
Still your mind gets the better of your mouth sometimes
And I fume for the rest of the day.
I've seen the good, the bad, the ugly. As have you.
Time continues its flow. You now speak your mind,
my reaction having dulled to a mild irritation, acknowledging
I no longer mind your silences; they're now natural to me.
Maybe I think too much, as you so often tell me.
But I fancy we got here because of time. We gave each other time.
To grow. To be.
Magical, how people spend 30 years, but still very much in love;
ten years apart, but resume their friendship
Right where they left off.
How do we become close? How do we move past casualness into closeness?
It seems so sudden when we notice it:
a lot of little things added up to make this one big thing.
The small moments that meant nothing by themselves, come together to mean something
As a whole.
I suppose that, if anything, is the secret to intimacy.