The severity of intimacy created too many problems. Distance gave clues. When they stood apart, on two different shores of the same sandwich, they achieved more. From behind the veil they could share their thoughts. They could share their feelings.

Why was it always this way between them? From the mere touch of their hands great pleasure was derived. Physical electricity that awakened them and frightened them simultaneously. It was not the answer. They achieved nothing. They were something together, but they were more when they were apart. Too similar. Too frighteningly synchronized that they merged into one. They lost their identities. Sometimes they lost their minds.

I can see your house from here.

They took their leave. They stood on opposite sides of the room. The voices and the bodies between them, even the furniture, provided safety. The great conflict passed, and they smiled at each other. He turned to get another drink and she disappeared. Would she return? Would he return? Nothing was ever certain, except the value of their apartness.

A*part"ness (#), n.

The quality of standing apart.

© Webster 1913.

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