I'm not much of a hugger. John would attest to this: he's complained so many times about my lousy hugs which he forced me into because he's the most touchy-feely person ever. Once, I patted him on the shoulder as I awkwardly leaned in for a forced hug. He immediately called me out on that and said, 'Don't ever pat me on the shoulder again!'
I extricated myself from the hug today when I realised that my left hand was signalling some degree of affection. I did not pat his shoulder. It moved vertically along his lower back, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. When we faced each other again, he asked if I was okay finding my way home. 'I'll find my way,' I said, just as I felt my hand graze his.
I cannot deal with any possible fall out, any possible scenario in which I lose control of the carefully carved out portions of emotional attachment that I have allowed myself over the past few days; and so as soon as I felt that, I said a hasty goodbye and hurried up the escalator. I briefly turned back once, but I couldn't handle it, and so I scurried off.
Off into the cold Melbourne night. My breathing, rapid, a slight constriction in the chest. I don't know what I felt. It felt inadequate, not enough, how I said goodbye, but what else did I want? To be in tears the way that I was four years ago when I closed the door on him on my last night in Melbourne, and on what was honestly an amazing week? To say goodbye by doing something that I'd wanted to do, but couldn't do, four years ago? But what would have been the point of that?
He is not mine to claim. It is probably better this way, to remain uncorrupted by the banalities of life, to live in these infinitely finite moments, me bursting into laughter just looking at his face, him bombarding me with his hilariously pointless drivel; rendered all the more bittersweet by their unfulfilled potential. A grazing of hands that never quite found the other's grip.