PUT YOUR HAND AGAINST THE SCREEN

 

 

You smile at my blurred reflection, discovering me as I find the image of you.

we are exploring each other as players

as friends

as lovers

we don't yet really understand what kind of link we have.

we will make mistakes.

we will misunderstand.

we need to be patient.

 

Some days we crumple weeping at our keyboards sobbing into our fingers

And the closer we are to the screen, the worse it is.

I said:

"I love you."

You said:

"I,m always here. Just put your hand to the screen, and press SEND"

So I did - I raised my palm to the crackling monitor to I feel you there on the other side. Soft and warm.

And this was the first time that I really imagined the sound of your voice.

___________________________________

She thinks of the man she married fifteen years ago and her heart tightens with the pain of what she is doing to him, what he will say, how he will groan in despair, but still she logs on again and again - she cannot tear herself away from this bodiless voice from the other side of the world.

___________________________________

 

Are you at the end of this mail? It is 9.45 am. I will stay here for 15 mins

- come to me.

..

I will stay another 15

 

another 10

.

 

I am still waiting ah!

Are you finally beginning to see what you have unleashed by your strange and

unstinting affection?

___________________________________

 

He always means to make this the last time but the moment she logs off his heart folds up and puts itself away, and he misses his heart, the beat of it, the lilt of it, so soon he is back again, looking for mail, searching for the text which carries her to him.

And she she tries to trace the shape of his words as if they are exhaled and not typed. She wants to follow his rhythms through the pulse of his body, and so she pulls him in through her greedy reading eyes.

___________________________________

 

***mail me as soon as you can

***mail me as soon as you get home

***I can't stand this radio silence

***I always check for your mail first.

***is it worth writing by snailmail? Surely by the time a letter arrives it

would be obsolete? I have thought about what I would say that would be

different to my emails and yet still worth saying - and I don't know what

that would be

***I will keep my mail window open all day long... if you need me... mail me

***I,m free tonight - let me know when you can be here - any time after 8pm PST

***I will do all I can to meet you at 6

*** Thank you for your mails.. Hope to talk to you later.. Leave me a time

***still nothing. My mailbox is empty. You are right about the lack of mail

- it is excruciating when I don't hear from you

***emailing frantically backwards and forwards

***emails

***snailmails

***parcels

***THE PHONE

___________________________________

 

Here on the plane, she is suspended in some other region. Even though (or perhaps because) she has never left her own country before, they decided she should be the one to make the trip.

Now she is flying into another world, into another space. She has booked her ticket, paid for it, given her partner of fifteen years a paper-thin explanation, packed her suitcase and boarded a flight to

~ a person she does not know at all.

//

~ a person she knows better than any other living soul.

She has moved from cyberspace into airspace and beyond that can only lie

physical space - meat, breath, blood.

___________________________________

 

This is not obsession.

It is *not* obsession.

There is a calmness around it, a restful joy, a sweet sweet companionship It's true that sometimes he aches for her and his limbs are heavy with longing but often they spend their time together just being, (as they say) just being together, on two sides of the same screen and only 5 thousand miles apart. And for most of the time this distance is nothing - it feels like only five inches....

Wherever you are in the world, just bring your open hand up to any screen

and you will feel me there.

Yet, I am watching you from my keyboard.

Do you think we could keep a vow never to meet?

___________________________________

 

He waits in his car, listening to the radio and watching the planes fly in.

He could hide in a corner where she won't see him. He could watch her pass

through the doors then just turn and walk away.

He could....

He could....

He could....

___________________________________

 

· Do I not fit any mould you know?

· You seem to have much trouble understanding me.

· We are so anxious all the time.

· You must realize that I don't really know what I am saying, or even why I

am saying it.

· I am crazy in the head.

· There,s a problem but I don't know if it,s my modem or the line or your silence.

· A previous attempt at this letter was lost as my modem suddenly froze and wouldn,t connect

· Last night you were out and I stared the empty screen until it turned white and hurt my eyes.

· I am falling asleep at the keyboard, my hand collapsed over the mouse.

· Where are you?

· Who are you?

___________________________________

 

The jet starts its descent

She is hot and her clothes are crumpled

She thinks maybe she will die at landing and never meet him after all

___________________________________

 

I see your name on the screen and my heart trembles with emotion.

But this is a critical moment, the beginnings of working out our reality.

We must take it one step at a time.

I want you to see you

but I understand your fear

I am longing to meet

but I understand your fear

YOU!

___________________________________

 

He gets out of the car and looks up to see her plane moving slowly overhead

The wheels go down.

In the Arrivals Hall the monitors glimmer and change with a blur of digital light. He rests lightly against the barrier and waits, acutely aware that once this space has been breached there will be no going back.

Soon - in hardly any time at all - the doors swing open and closed and she is walking towards him across the huge empty space.

And as she crosses the hall her eyes search for what her heart has already seen a million times before.

At first she is alarmed - it,s not him. Then the visions merge and it *is* him, until just at the last moment before their outstretched hands actually touch he finally solidifies into that person who will be the love of her life.

And for him, it is the same.

END

 

 

 

 

 text ~ Sue Thomas

trAcing the writing

community - keep in touch at

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