• Maggie Levine

ArtWrite 10/14: Aliza Nisenbaum

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

The sections of the Sunday paper had already separated and fallen into an unruly pile. I was sprawled on my back on the day bed with Nick next to me, one of my legs bent and the other extended so that my calf crossed over one of his thighs and my ankle rested on the other.

I appeared to be reading. But there was something about the way Nick had his hand laying over my calf. I couldn’t concentrate.

His hand was sending me a familiar message: even though we’re reading and doing this parallel activity, I’m always with you.

Nick likes having me in the same room. He says it all the time. “Read your book in here. I won’t bug you.”

We were still in the clothes we’d slept in. T-shirts, sweats for me, shorts for him. My hair was filthy, and I didn’t care that the ends of it were touching the floor, probably sweeping aside dust bunnies.

It had been years since I’d felt self-conscious in his presence. There was nothing I wouldn’t do or say around him. We were comfortable. Familiar. At ease. All the things I should never take for granted but from which I suddenly ached to break.



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