He worries a lot, just like I do.

Last night he said, “It doesn’t bother you how I text you everyday, right?”

“No! Why would it bother me to hear from someone I...”

It almost slipped out of my mouth, as simply as stating a fact. I slowed myself down, thought of how else to phrase it... “someone who I care for.”

There was a time when I never thought that saying that word could cause any pain. Now it seems damning.

When he first blurted it out the other day, I gasped as if it were surprising, even though every other word of that torrid conversation was slowly creeping towards it.

He immediately said, “I’m sorry – is it too soon?”

Damned if I know; the word ended up being said quite a few times.

Mr. Spock once told me that loving me felt like a mental illness. He laughed, as he often liked to laugh at mean thoughts. I tried to find the humor in what he said, too, but instead I thought of the ways that people have cried and clung to my body as if they were holding on for dear life, and all I felt was rather sad.