The beau snuggled in, wrapping his arm around me tighter. He leaned forward for a kiss and held his face in front of mine, gazing tenderly into my eyes.
“Get off,” I moaned, “I can’t breathe.”
Okay, so it’s hard for me to be affectionate when my forehead is throbbing and one nostril feels like it’s been plugged with concrete. But the sad thing is that I’m like this when I’m feeling well, too. I don’t like anyone too close to my face, which makes kissing kind of awkward when I can no longer tamp down my discomfort and begin deftly ducking and wriggling out of my partner’s grasp. I don’t like anyone touching me when I’m trying to sleep, so there goes those nights theoretically spent blissfully wrapped in a loving embrace.
Sounds awful, huh? I sound like an automaton who was never programmed with the capacity to love. I think I am, sometimes.
What? Trombones are over. Forget trombones. I’m trying to start a new thing.
Oh! You know what makes the joke better? Sad kazoo. SAD KAZOO, you guys.
The thing is, Beau comes from a let’s-suppress-our-feelings reserved Protestant family, and I come from a let’s-repeatedly-air-our-grievances talkative Catholic family. I always joke that he doesn’t know what emotions are, while he jokes that I don’t know how to act like a normal, non-goofy person. Yet he’s the one who buries his face in my neck while I cringe. He’s the one who rolls over every time I get in bed and pins my arms to my sides in an epic bear hug as I desperately play dead. He’s the one who attempts daily to fuse his face with mine as try to remain calm and breathe, oh god, I can’t breathe.
I’m gagging right now, just typing about it. I’ll bet a kazoo that you are, too.
He may not talk about his feelings, but he sure as hell shows them. Meanwhile, I will gladly talk you to death from a polite distance. This is a physical manifestation of the differences between us, and admittedly something we were finally able to acknowledge as a thing only a couple of years ago. And since then it’s been a challenge for us to meet each other halfway — for me to remember to use my hands, and for him to remember to use his words.
How do you match up with your person of choice?