It doesn’t take long for me to forge new routines. On the balcony, solitude is like a readily absorbed moisturizing balm I apply to my skin—there is an appeal to imagining yourself glistening with it. I walk down the hill and see him waving at me from the shop. Hi, he beams. I love you. His performance is faultless. There is no reason to be alarmed. What else is there to take comfort in if not the consistency of these hours? The look on his face when he wakes up: that split second of truth as his eyes move from confusion to your face and recognition breaks through in a smile—that’s what you wait for, that’s how you know this is true. And yet, even on a good day, I don’t forget. It lingers, like the stench of gardenias. But I crawl back into our bed and close my eyes; I acquire the grace of appearing as though I have.
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