My lover's voice turns me on. so much that sometimes I ask him some question or other just to get him talking, just so I can listen. There's a sweet, quavering little-kid note in his voice that melts my heart, and an all-grown-up bass foundation that gets more and more pronounced when he's getting turned on. When he's tired, high overtones give his sound a luscious, wine-like quality. He speaks in slow, swaying rhythm, punctuated by pauses, delivering speech that gives me time to sink deeper, deeper into my belly. I was thinking the other day that it's damn lucky I love his voice so much, because most days that's all I get of his body. Right now there are 400 miles between us as the crow flies -- and a lot more as the bus drives!
For weeks at a time, my love life consists of putting a pillow next to the phone and dimming the lights when it gets close to time for our next conversation. Sometimes I have some lube and the dildo he gave me handy. My free hand usually seems to end up between my legs of its own accord by the time we've been talking for a few minutes. The combination of his voice and my fingers and memories is utterly delicious and can drive me to distraction. Some nights, we imagine the space between us is humming with orgasm, the energy there to provide a pick-me-up for anyone along the route between us who cares to tap into it.
The longing to be with him, though, is worst not at bedtime but when I'm making dinner. Living and working at home means I eat alone most of the time. No matter how artfully I arrange the food on my plate, it doesn't substitute for company. It makes me catch my breath sometimes, the sudden sharpness of wanting him to be there cooking with me.
We count the weeks till our visits. But life being what it is, there's often a gap between our anticipated pleasures and the reality of our few days together. Getting stocked up and ready for a visitor or making the long trip to see him means I'm usually tired when we first get together. A disagreement or emotional hiccup, threatening cold sore or the flat-out sick I got at Christmas thanks to some floor-finishing chemicals can all provide ample grist for the disappointment mill unless we keep our thoughts on a productive path.
We encourage each other to just go with the flow and try not to get caught up in wishing things were different. Better to be real, even though our time is short, we figure, than try to paper over the cracks to create the visit of our dreams.
On the upside, I really do have space. If I'm upset with him or trying to see what the root problem is when I'm bugged by something he's said, I don't have to deal with him right there in my face while everything's still in that awkward working-it-out space inside my head. There's been more than one moment in the past half-year when I've breathed a sigh of relief thinking how much easier it's been to process something through precisely because we're not living together.
The distance also takes some of the edge off the intense self-exposure I feel when I'm intimate with somebody. I'm still healing a childhood legacy of nagging doubts that I'm not good enough as I am, and frankly, it's easier sometimes not to have him here getting to know every last thing about me. I realize that anything I'm afraid to reveal to him comes from a place where I still have trouble accepting myself -- and I'm glad for the alone time I have to chip away at changing the pattern.
But when I've been on the phone with him, my yoni and heart glowing brighter and brighter, and I have to hang up and greet the empty space around me, the shock of the transition can feel like someone's just hung a lead balloon from my waist. It takes only a couple of weeks of this before I decide I have to move in with him -- tele-love just doesn't cut it compared to flesh-on-flesh.
I've wondered if something about long distance forces your hand. When longing is ongoing, taking leisurely time to "get to know" him had become a luxury I was willing to do without. I'm committed, and I've committed myself fast. I figure if it doesn't work out, I'll survive.
But on this front, too, the distance has its plus side -- it provides a kind of relationship barometer that's telling me he's serious about this. After all, if all either one of us were looking for was a fun fuck, well, it's a heck of a lot easier to get that with someone who lives closer to home.
The idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder is another one I've pondered. I've been looking for ways to turn our current separation into something that helps rather than hinders our connection. One thing I'm sure of: I will draw on these months apart as a source of strength. I'll use them to remind myself never to take my lover's presence for granted, even when I find him disagreeable.
And that scenario, of course, is in the future. For now, I hang up from yet another conversation, resigned to brushing my teeth or getting back to work or whatever it is I'm doing. After a while I feel somewhat normal again. Somewhat.