Long Distance

Manny, I said, that night on your couch. I don’t want to be normal.

You smiled. We were 22 or so, and in your parents home in Germany. It would be one of the last nights I spent with you.

You think you’re normal?

Well no, I paused. I just mean I don’t want this to be normal.

You and me?

I nodded. I’m afraid of it being normal someday. If we end up together, we would be normal don’t you think?

I imagine so, yes. You pushed your hair back as you said it.

I’m afraid I’d stop loving you like this if we were normal.

You’d probably stop loving me anyway.

Not now I wouldn’t, I said. But maybe if we ended up together, I would.

You’d get sick of me, you said. And we’d carry on like everyone else until one or the other dies.

I’m sick of you now, in some ways.

You snorted. Well, see? Think about a few more years down the road. You’d probably leave me.

I made a face. I don’t think so. But, I can’t imagine doing all the things couples do with you. I don’t think we’re meant to be that way. To do those things.

I don’t know what you mean by those ‘things’.

I mean I don’t want to love you in the ordinary way. I just want to love you, always, like I do right now.

How is that?

I’m not sure, I said, leaning back on your couch. I guess I love you in a way that I know you will leave. And our story hasn’t gotten old. And I love you because our story isn’t old. It’s right now, and every time we see each other. Because you give me these things. You give me a different thing, do you know what I’m saying?

You shook your head. You say things, Lindsey, and I don’t know if they make sense, you paused. But yes. You’re the strangest girl I know. 

I hope you think that forever.

I know.

If we stayed together, you wouldn’t. You’d figure out who I was.

Are you somebody different that I haven’t known for 7 years.

No, but you still tolerate the things I say.

I like the things you say.

Eventually you’d stop caring.

Why do you say that like you know?

I do know.

You don’t.

You’re the only person I’ve never been tired of, Manny.

Lindsey, you whispered.

It’s the truth, I said. I love you because I can’t get tired of you before you’re gone again.

Then maybe you don’t actually know if you love me.

I shook my head. Do you love me?

I think so.

Do you know that you love me?

Does anybody really know?

America, as kids

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