I see you in the calloused hands of the man who leans across the pool table and guides my fingers around the stick, steadying my first shot. I see you in the patience of the bartender, as I debate between two of my favorite beers. I see you in the man who throws his arms loosely over his girlfriend’s shoulders on the stool next to me, pulling her in for a kiss.
I see you in everywhere, in everyone.
I see you in the gas station attendant who smiles and hands me a receipt, tattoos along his arms just like yours; I see you in the flower man at the farmer’s market who is so pleased I’m buying the last of his sunflowers that he plants a kiss right on my cheek. I see you in the father who reaches down to wipe his son’s scraped knee, in the child who sprints through the waves and throws his hands to the sky in abandon.
I see you in the familiarity—in the way that I wake and am reminded of you, in the way that I do all the simple things, like brush my teeth or blow dry my hair, and picture doing those things side-by-side in the bathroom mirror. I see you in the same coffee shops, same park benches, same paths where I run just before sunset.
I see you in every place I enjoy, knowing one day those will be our places, and not just mine.
I see you in the new—in the first bites of a food that I think you’d love, in the consignment stores I wander into, shrugging a dress over my shoulders and imagining the expression on your face when you pick me up for a date and I have it on.
I see you in pieces, sprinkled throughout my days. I see you in whole when I hear the sound of your voice before falling asleep.
I see our future, spanning out so beautiful and messy before us, even when you’re not right here next to me.
I see you in the way I don’t go more than twenty minutes without wondering where you are, without imagining what you’re doing, without adding another item to the list of things I want to share with you at the end of every day.
I see you in the people who make me laugh, in the friends I share my time with, in the strangers, whose space I share just reminds me of the way I share so much of myself willingly with you.
I see you, and all the things I love about you reflected back to me in the eyes, the laughter, the faces of each person I encounter, each soul I meet—a reminder of who you are, will always be to me—regardless of the physical distance that spans between.
And maybe this is what makes love beautiful—not necessarily the touches, the tangible—but the spaces between, the moments that connect us when we don’t even have to try.