One of Two

What does a man think about when he is twenty-four hours away from seeing his partner whom he hasn’t seen in ten days? Well—

I’ve been catatonic the entire time— not the right word, but it sounds right; it makes me think of catacombs, of comas, of supersonic flight between two points, and that’s all it really is, in measure: We are two human beings separated by the simple principle that no one person can be in two places at once, despite insistent smartphones. The black knob turns its dial to preset options: The kids; The writing; The editing, which is to say, The money; and miscellaneous and sundry items such as food, water, and hygiene. Anything else will have to wait until Monday. I am full of all the things that make me me but they are less precious, or perhaps less brilliant, I don’t know— less urgent. I am one of two, and this is the grand bargain I’ve made: Life goes on, and all the machines in my mind continue to work, unabated, if behind a step, and Things still happen, and none of it has anything to do with the singular ache of missing the other person. It is detached from the corporeal, from the grit. The old cat tip-toes into the lone corridor of our apartment, and bellows a guttural meow, a low vibrato controlled by the O of her mouth, as if caught doing dumb shit again, which rises in pitch, and changes key, until peaking at its wide wail, then back down, the blues.