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    Comfort is no shoes, no shirt, no service because the need for naps is real. Legs overlapped with backs turned or toes, but nothing else touching, so neither of us ever forgets the other is there. Going straight to the fridge because we’re past the point of asking. “You want some food? Really, that’s it? I know you can eat more than that.” Getting used to your body heat. Bus rides, white a-di-das shoes, and forehead kisses. Makeshift splints. Probates. Football matches. Not always knowing how to cheer but showing up anyway.

    Taking vitamins because “I’m tryna be healthy” even though we both know you’re lying. Knowing everything happens for a reason but never understanding why you couldn’t be my good thing. “Did you reach?” and “I don’t like that you travel solo.” Coming to the hospital and bringing Burger King because the doctors starved me all day. Bringing cookies for your mom because there’s no way I could show up to Thanksgiving dinner empty handed. Worrying about being accepted only to end up being loved. Missing them as much as I miss you, us, we, together – sometimes.

    Bringing me food or going out to eat and not worrying about having to “eat like a girl.” Staying up till 3 am talking about the world. Spending all day in bed enjoying each other’s presence and the intellectual stimulation of it all. Laughter where there should be sleeping. Never sleeping. Oh my God’s and Holy Shit’s. All the moments that make up whatever the hell this thing we’re doing here is or isn’t. Eating in bed at 2 am from the same to-go box because we’re both about the fat life. Sleeping while the other works. Not sleeping as well without your body there to throw my leg over. Your legs over mine. Thinking way too deep and only coming up for air to share our thoughts. Thinking on things together. “Where you at?”

    “You home yet?” Leaving the towel out as if it’s holding my place, waiting for me to come back and use it. “You get so excited” and remembering that you don’t like chocolate. Taking time and no waiis. Waking up early to make pancakes. White chocolate after a bad day and medicine when sick. Tears on chests. Football jackets ruined. It’s ‘all I’m asking for is ifs’ and ties that span states, places, countries, oceans. Sharing EPs. Vibing out. Going to church with my mom, without me by the way. The way your uncle always said, “She’s smart – keep her”.  Watching sports with your family on holidays. The way our legs intertwine and we don’t sleep so delicately anymore. Sleep like we’re trying too hard. Sleep like we’ll break the other party involved. “I’ve got the chicken.” Christmas gifts I still sleep with.

    It’s “You’re not intimidating to those who are worthy” and keeping track of what you can and can’t eat. Like and don’t. Hearts on tables. Hearts leaking. Hearts smelling in streets. List me as your emergency contact. “What are you allergic to?” Hoodies that somehow always fit just right, even after/if we realized we weren’t right anymore. It’s “I don’t usually do this” and “Have you ever tried this before?” Doing your best to leave your baggage at the door. Learning your pet peeves, turn-ons, and favorite songs. Promises made and promises broken. Lies told. Transgressions forgiven. New Years Eve kisses at parties I lied about attending.

    Unclenched muscles and collapsing both into and on-top-of each other. Thinking I’d marry you.

    Comfort is that space before or between intimacy. When you’re both finally relaxing and feeling each other enough to be yourselves. Bringing all of who you are to the table because you’re confident and comfortable with the other person seeing it – seeing you too.

    Gabrielle Hickmon
    Gabrielle Hickmon

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