on this day, everything is calm. it is the calm before the storm. i sit at my desk, fingers moving unemotionally over keys. today, thoughts have been whispering from the outer edges of  busy-ness, shouting over the fence of semi-mindnumbing work ~they are reminders of life beyond these walls, and this screen, amplified occasionally by digital voices coming from the other side of the world. you appear to me this way, from time to time. i feel your good intentions and warm heart from so far away, like a gentle caress. and when i remember you, the thought appears like an unexpected and secret smile. i know it won’t be long before i am face to face with you. i look down at these fingers, the ones that i use to press keys and swipe screens, and the thought comes to me that after the moment i see you, i don’t ever want to have to look at you again on another screen. i want to use my fingers to touch your skin, to hold your hand, to point something interesting out to you as we walk along the street or to brush the hair away from my neck for you…..this is what i tell myself. this is how i stay sane in this transition time, this time of business as usual and dry barren deserts, where every drop of life-giving rain is simply sucked away, not ever making a dent, nor ever likely to result in the growth of anything even remotely interesting or meaningful, besides some spindly microscopic growth on a rock somewhere that will probably only be pecked off and eaten by half-starving mangy birds with sharp beaks…..this is what i do right now, i grow lichen on rocks with whatever water i can spare……and swipe my screen longingly. accept. reject. swipe right, swipe left. delete. swipe up to see what i have to do next. swipe down to go home. oh, is it that time already? i leave and spend the rest of the day parked in front of another screen, trying to work on a paper. the fingers are moving more hesitantly now. it is about plagiarism and chinese international students. foucault is my little helper on that one. and maybe it could be interesting, and i suppose some part of me thinks it is interesting, but all the while i hear the vaguely murmuring voice of a friend, in my head, reminding me that there is no point spending a single moment writing anything that i am not passionate about. his voice goes arm in arm with my thoughts of you because, damn, LIFE IS SHORT. then, i hear the familiar vibrate sounds and i look down. oh, there is a message from you. three, in fact. photos. beautiful photos. you are in africa. you are surrounded by clouds of stunning, shining children, but i only see you, of course. my god. what a beautiful man. it is so funny how you don’t see that, so charming. i wonder if perhaps my fingers would have been put to better use by blocking you from my whatsapp, because your clean smile now has me wondering: who is this person who is still so blissfully unaware of the impact he has on others, on me? and just like that, the calm is shattered. a chess piece moves all the way across the board and suddenly, check mate. and here i am, yet again? all it took was for me to swipe right and press once. shouldn’t that mean something? this is where my fingers have taken me, to africa via your clean smile, and straight to my desire…...♥

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