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Day 325 - Reading...Intimacy

We would be together

and have our books

and at night

be warm in bed together

With the windows open

And the stars bright


Ernest Hemingway

I love this quote. It describes perfectly what I want in a relationship. The easy ability to be together and be still and quiet. The confidence to be together and alone at the same time. To share a love of reading, in bed, together.


I do well on my own. I have spent the better part of my life in that manner. Perhaps I have dated a great deal, but I have spent more time uncommitted than committed. I do not go to bed every night longing for someone lying next to me. Quite to the contrary, I just go to bed. Occasionally, actually rarely, do I feel lonely as I crawl into bed, wrung out from a day well lived. I slide into my soft, comfort and grab a book and read until I fall asleep. It is an intimacy I share with myself. I love this so much that I do not wish it away, or to end or to change. I love the quiet evening where I slip gently away, reading thoughts of another.


But I have to admit this quote, this idea that it might be possible to share this intimacy with another, has such an allure. Such a pull. I have only really experienced it once, with one man. We could be together and alone at the same time. Each of us snuggled to the other with book in hand, until our minds stopped racing and running and were brought to restful exhaustion. Then we lay together with the window open and looked at the stars that lit the sky. Other things might have also happened but that only made the moment better. Later, exhaustion complete, together, we drifted away, tangled, all of our being spent for the day.


This was my best life. This was my dream. This was what I craved, and still do. This simple, loving intimacy of reading with another, totally alone with my thoughts, while being entangled with another. This is the best expression of intimacy I have ever known.


I have found that what I miss most about being committed to another is these quiet intimacies that linger in my mind. I reminisce about these times more than social events, holidays, or daily routines. When I miss being in love or committed, this is what I miss. This quiet intimacy that one can share over a book. I also miss coffee in bed the following day, snuggled together, then pushed apart by a steaming cup of Joe. Lazy time, talking in bed. Perhaps we talk of books or travel. Those are my favorite. Perhaps we talk of love and each other. Perhaps we talk of the day ahead or a fear or worry. The subject matter is far less important than the locale. This bed driven intimacy that supports all the things I love most in life.


My home base is my bed. I write from here everyday. I think the thoughts, dream the dreams, love the love and sex the sex (not often anymore) right here at home base. It is no wonder that probably my largest fantasy is to find someone to share this love of reading in my most favorite spot in the world. To me that is the dream, to be in this place with a man I love, who loves me back, with coffee and literature is almost too much. The thought of it brings a heady intoxication, like perhaps some pervert feels when presented with his fetish. This is how I feel about finding myself on a cold night, encapsulated in the loving arms of another, while reading together from a book or each with our own. The cold night air, forcing us together. To fall away from the day under the blanket of stars existing only for us, in this moment.


This is what I miss, yet I have only really had it once. How can something be so important and desirable to me, and how have I been so willing to skip it. Because I think that being in this type of intimacy is frightening, to be in a place where you show up in your true self and in your real skin, and be prepared to be that person no matter the cost is terrifying and freeing at the same time. For most of my life, I picked the security of never being the leader, don’t say what you want because then you are likely not to get it. I waited in quiet desperation for someone to show up and be what I needed or wanted. I kept my desires to myself and allowed the world to just come in whatever form it did. I could love with 80% and that would be fine.


I am not sure whether it is age, or wisdom or just plain exhaustion, but I have been gifted the courage to not accept less from myself than everything. I will no longer allow this need I have to only exist in my mind. Hemingway wrote about it, so I know I am not the only one...


Perhaps there is another whose idea of loving intimacy comes with the hard spine of a book, the night air and stars. If you too are searching, I am right here...


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