I wake up while you’re in the shower. Stretch my limbs. Check my phone. Shuffle to the kitchen. Make some tea.
The cats are there, watching with great interest — but pretending all the while that they couldn’t care less. As cats do.
I’ve marveled sometimes how they follow us from room to room, staring when they don’t realize we are looking at them. Turning their gaze the moment it becomes obvious we notice them.
You’re similar, come to think of it. Some people are more like dogs. They jump and tackle you. Bowl you over with affection. It can be exciting — but sometimes it gets to be a little much.
You, you’re different. You’re warm and intense. Incredibly affectionate. But it’s measured. Meted out. You take your time.
And I can’t remember ever being overwhelmed by you. Not really. Instead, I find myself always wanting more. You break kisses a little too soon — not in a dissatisfying way but in a way that leaves me breathless. Yes, I always want more.
I wish I could see me the way you see me, but I can’t. Don’t have the first idea of how to start imagining how I seem to you. The truth is that I never quite know where I stand with you. It doesn’t help that you’re not great at talking about how you feel. You find it uncomfortable and words inadequate. And past lovers made the whole process so fraught and high stakes for you — akin to a pop quiz that’s both a huge part of your “grade” and impossible to study for — that these days you freeze up when you even try.
So I’ve had plenty of moments where I felt inappropriately affectionate. Like this love only trends in one direction.
But as I see the cats this morning, see how they care deeply but mask it, I suddenly get it. I understand.
It’s welcome clarity.