I am sitting on my friend’s balcony alone.  Only Gus the cat keeps me company.  He wonders who I am.  I hope that he will stay calm and not decide to lunge, hiss or spit.  I am slightly fearful of cats.  I am borrowing my dear friend’s quiet apartment for space away, for the view, for inspiration, for the dusty bookshelves full of poetry and prose.  And for the apartment’s spiritual centerpiece–a large writing-table near the third-floor, Mount-Royal facing window.

I have suckled two glasses of improvised depanneur sangria, juice and cheap wine, in the sun.  I am looking at the spring-almost-summer green leaves, grass and mountain stretched in space before me.  The colour deepens each afternoon hour.  The heat absorbed in the metal balcony warms my tanned legs, I can smell my own sweet sweat, and there is a book of beautiful writing, Dancing After Hours by Andre Dubus, on my lap.  I have just breathed in another achingly human story and I feel it in my groin.  I feel the flush and pulse of blood and life there, between my legs (am I heating the balcony or is it heating me?)  It is desire I feel, for lips to kiss, and eyes.  Desire for your eyes and mine and your eyes taking me in.  I want your face–its creases and folds, your skin to smell and your breathing my scent into you.  This wine, this sun, these words make me so utterly take-able.  I am so utterly available in this now to become one with you, with the air and with God.  Take me.  Please.

And yet, I know that if I did kiss you, if I let you take me, I would float away into your lips and breath, your heartbeat and sweat.  I would dissolve.  And then, I would be disappointed.  I would be empty then, and lost.  Eventually or sooner than that.

To want you and not to have you keeps me aching and reaching for the more and more beautiful–for these words I write, for music, art, words written by masters, for the quiet deep moments of truth in the therapy room, for the moments when my children are exquisitely themselves.

If you, or someone else, took me in this moment of my absolute availability, I might miss all the rest that I seek: the mountain I am climbing might melt away, and the delicious ache in my belly might dissolve.  If I had your lips and breath, heartbeat and sweat.  I might very well miss all this fine travelling and yearning.

Thank you lover, for not being here.