Fractured

Most times, living between two houses is a positive thing. I have two places to call home, two places I feel secure, two men to love me and hold me all night.

Sometimes both on the same night.

But sometimes having two places makes me feel fractured, reflecting pieces of myself like a prism – never a whole version of me. That happens most when I haven’t been able to spend equal time at both places, or at least some time at both places. Then it’s less like coming home and more like trying to find my place again.

I walked into W’s the other evening with just that sense of disorientation. I hadn’t seen him in a week, hadn’t slept over at his house since the night before Twisted Tryst, and granted, we had been together off and on for several days in a row before that, but…well, that’s the point. It used to be that short, intense periods of being together, followed by a week or more of being apart was the norm. But in this third year of our relationship we’ve established a much more balanced tripod, and I spend almost an equal amount of time between houses. Enough to make me feel as “at home” at W’s as I do at Ad’s. Enough that even W talks about “our room” and “our bed” and asks my opinion about design choices and such at his house.

When I walked into his house the other night, after being gone for so long, it didn’t feel like coming home. I felt like a stranger. I looked around and felt lost.

Part of that may have been that W is doing renovations and his downstairs is a construction zone. Which is all very cool, and I am very excited that he is doing this project (and monumentally impressed, too), but which still left me feeling like I was walking into an unfamiliar place.

It wasn’t until later that night that I finally felt put back together, comfortably “home” with W again.

We’ve had a few challenges physically lately, as I–and consequently they–have dealt with some health issues I’ve been dealing with, and, occasionally, emotional issues stemming from the health stuff. That loss of physicality always affects me negatively. I am very much a toucher: I show love through touch and to feel loved I need that reciprocated as well.

It’s funny, I was just thinking the other day how far W has come in that regard. He’s always touched me when we play, of course (I am sure that is one of my needs that play fulfills for me, that voracious, all-consuming and greedy desire to be touched) and he holds me close at night, even in his sleep, but when we were first together he was much more reserved physically at other times. Now he touches me all the time, taking my hand, brushing my hair off my face, hugging me or simply touching me so much more than he used to. Even so, the kind of intensely focused touch that I experience when we play is still very much one of those things that connects us, or at least me to him, and without it I feel a little bereft. This intense need for touch is one reason, I am sure, that I struggled so during our initial separations when he’d go to Florida. So with our time apart, and with these odd health issues, that kind of touch has been somewhat curtailed. And when I arrived at W’s that night, I felt that dearth of touch like a physical barrier between us. Feeling emotionally fragile, feeling broken and lost, my need to really feel him was a yawning compulsion a mile wide and five miles deep.

I had gotten there late, much later than I had intended, and so we talked a bit, worked out the last minute details our our upcoming trip (this trip, to Baltimore), and crawled into bed relatively early, and without any play beforehand. For a while, we simply lay next to each other, bodies meeting at hips and shoulders.

“It feels strange to be in your bed again,” I said.

He laughed. “It’s only been a week,” he said. It seemed so much longer than that.

I turned over to my side, facing away from him. This is how I usually fall sleep, but that is always after we have loved on each other, or I have snuggled up against his side for awhile. I took a tremulous breath, and then another, wondering at the difference in our perceptions. How could he not feel this gulf between us? How could he not feel how strange and alone I felt?

And then he turned toward me and wrapped himself around me, pulling me tight against his body. For a long moment he simply held me snugly. I felt his body enfolding mine from the soles of my feet to the top of my head, every inch of him solid and warm. His hands roamed over my body, but not sexually, or at least not in any demanding way. More like…reacquainting himself with me. Touching every part of me. I felt his nose in my hair and his lips against the back of my neck, his breath even and reassuring. The weight of his leg across mine was a comfort, not a restriction. I felt his skin against mine and the familiarity of him, of the way he touched me, of how deeply he knew me, and I sighed and let myself fall back into him, into the circle of his body, into the circle of our deep knowing of each other.

I took a slow, deep breath and felt the pieces of myself beginning to fit together again.

I was home. How had I ever thought otherwise?

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