“Get away from me. Come closer.”

Recently I was sitting on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.  A warm, sunny day, with a welcome reprieve from the arctic wind that can come punishing in across the surface of the sea.

The cliffs are serrated, with several promontories jutting out at intervals of a hundred feet or more between them.  I sat at the edge of one of these, and at the edge of the next one over sat a woman.  Each of us faced the wide, open blue of the ocean and sky and the clear line of horizon.  No phones or books. No one else anywhere within sight.  Just two bodies, four eyes, and a shared view.

Just before I rose to leave, I looked her way, and she looked back at me.  I didn’t try to call out to her; she was too far for that.  But I raised my hand, and she hers, and we waved silently to each other.  Then I left.

It was such a human moment, despite the literal chasm between us.  It reminds me that closeness requires distinction, that two can only get close if they remain two, for if they become one there is no longer anything to get close to.  It saddens me somehow but seems perfectly reasonable, that separateness would be necessary for intimacy.

One Response to ““Get away from me. Come closer.””

  1. Charlie Says:

    When a married man talks about greener grass, I think I believe him.

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