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      Stranger

     


I slept with another man last night, and the strangest thing is that I woke wishing I could tell you. It was almost as if some loose part had clicked into place, I had found the last pieces of you left behind. You have been gone almost two years now, and I feel as though I have found you again, whole. I have never had such a sense of familiarity before, of comfort. If I closed my eyes it was you with me again, your breath and skin and hands.



Sometimes you can know a person by what they surround themselves with, the artifacts of their lives. A silver mug, a brush and strop hanging from a hook on the back of a door. The too-tall, too dark chest of drawers, brass handles curving with a delicacy not repeated today. Pictures on walls, of strange landscapes and unfamiliar faces that somehow still evoke a recognition. These are my people. This is my home.



When he touched me, I could feel you again, through time and distance. As if an ancient vault had been blown open, and remembered sensations poured out onto the world. Strong hands gripping, pulling. Soft and rough at once, a size and strength I can not resist. The feel of your voice, vibrating bare chest against bare chest. The smell of you, your hair, your clothes. The wood of your bedframe, layered varnish, damp with age and neglect, but so pungent as my face pressed against it. So tied to all that we were.



We talked for hours, he and I, you and I. Your lives, so parallel. Dreams and desires I knew before he shared them, because they were yours. Ours. Mine. Hope. The pain and sorrow draining away, each caress wiping clean, fresh, restored. Exposing what was always there, buried and forgotten.



I awoke, weeping for joy, and I walked away. A weight lifted. A wound healed.

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