I wrote this really quickly while I was on a work trip in Sydney. I found myself at a loss each night, not knowing what to do after work without my husband being around.
It’s not hot, but it’s still muggy and sweaty. The Sydney streets are dank with the smell of cigarettes and rotting food. Aimless crowds, mostly Asian. Car engines, fluorescent lights flashing cheaply from restaurant windows.
It’s almost 9pm, and I know you’d hate the idea of me being out now. There are so many dodgy looking men about. The trick, I pretend to myself, is to not make eye contact with any of them. But still I look over my shoulder anxiously if I feel anyone get near, holding my purse tight under my arm.
I have this strong sense that I’m somewhere I’m not meant to be.
The truth is: there’s an emptiness inside me, because I haven’t seen you in 38 hours. I worked until late tonight, then ate a shameful beef burrito in my motel room while watching TV. I didn’t have you to come home to. I couldn’t sink into your strong, warm, solid arms and feel my stress dissolve and my muscles relax. I couldn’t smell your familiar musky, masculine scent. I couldn’t kiss your handsome, stubbly cheek.
Not coming home to you leaves me exhausted and broken. So I have to brave the squalid Sydney streets and try to forget you for a moment. Thinking about where I’d rather be, with you, leaves me sickeningly homesick.
Now I’m cold, my skin is washed and patchy, my legs are uncovered and feel fat, and my hair is a greasy, messy bun. I look at my reflection in the mirror and hate myself.
I miss you.
You make me okay.
You make me a person.