We are so porous now that our moods break the skin without even touching. Are you ok, I say, and she tells me not to say it, which I understand but do anyway, wanting to help. She sees me struggling like this and asks, is there anything I can do? I tell her not to worry and worry myself with her concerns. Of course, the happiness filters through too, the joy and love and revelries. This feels amazing, she says, and I don’t respond, she knows full well what happens when we’re near. We fill each other so completely.
When I’m empty she feeds me little morsels of care and reminds me I was starving. I still sigh too much but she’s as patient with me as she’s ever been, always asking what’s wrong with actual concern. Once, I told her I was scared that love might have an expiration date, that I might wake up one day unknowingly disqualified from standing next to her. She took my hand, shook her head, and looked at me seriously. ‘Love doesn’t work that way,’ she said, ‘it’s got a longer shelf life than any ration and only spoils from mishandling.’