over the wire

“I miss the feeling of you next to me,” the tinny voice says, the sound coming to me faster than the image can catch up.

She is in bed, I can tell by the pillows and headrest behind her, and the time difference is like that, because I just grabbed food on the way home from work. I’m hoping the bags under my eyes don’t show. I’m hoping the weary misery of her absence isn’t picked up by the tiny camera and shot over the wires and reformed on her screen for her eyes to see.

“Do you remember that time,” I say slowly, hoping so much that the movement of my lips isn’t too far behind the sound, “we got stuck in the rain over on the West Side?” She nodded.

We’d gone to an Indo-Chinese fusion restaurant that got some review on Yelp, and the food was terrible, over-spiced, and over-priced. The waiter kept looking down her shirt, my napkin was dirty, and we vowed never to trust online reviews again. And after leaving no tip (the first time I think I’ve ever done that), we stepped out to a miserable cold rain that soaked our jackets and seemed to dribble through her umbrella.

“We got home,” I retold the story, “and the first thing we did was peel off all our clothes and climb into bed.” She smiled and interrupted.

“You were an ice cube!”

“Hey, I think I was the one who warmed you up though,” I reminded her.

I smiled and our hearts ached and I’m sure we thought a little about fucking and a lot about how far we were, and just talked a little bit more and both decided it was time for bed, since neither of us was a fan of phone or video sex. Those alternatives would be pale and shallow, and in no way adequate enough.