My life is a series of check-ins. The cool surface of the keyboard or the smooth glide of the iPhone are the only touch I know.
“New alert for you, Deidre. Rachael liked your photo.”
Rachael, my friend from college. She used to stay over in my room to study for Organic Chem and we’d play cards and talk about where we hoped we’d be in ten years. It’s been that long since I’ve seen her. I found I missed her smile.
My notification rings like the call of an old friend. My new friends are a distance away and I’m not sure how to reach out to my close ones.
I’m linked only as far my internet connection allows. I am a like, a compliment, a comment, a share. I’ve lost the ability to hug, be a shoulder to cry on, a real friend.
“Deidre, Michael liked your check in at Ricky’s Roadhouse”
Michael, I haven’t seen him in years. I remember the way he used to press his hand to the small of my back, his long fingers brushing the top of my bottom when he brought me in for a hug. Butterflies would erupt in my stomach at the contact, his body heat melting me. His breath ruffling my hair as he took in my scent, his hands wrapped like an anchor around my waist, his heart like thunder in my ear. The brush of his fingers along my sides always leading to more.
How’d I lose that? My body aches for closeness, but I don’t know how to reach for it. My reservations having hid me and my computer screen having offered me an easier means to “meet”.
But I still ache for a hug, for connection, for warmth.
“Tim shared your link on his page, Deidre.”
Another notification, another memory of closeness. I like his share, my attempt to say I feel him and exit to the main page.
Deidre, would you like to update your status? Deidre, we loved your tip, would you like to review Fox’s Pizza? Deidre, would you like to add a caption to this photo? Deidre, you have twenty friends in common with Patrick, do you know him?
I don’t know how to disconnect in order to reconnect. Logging out is hard to do. I’m left with that ache, that terrible need to touch, but the fear I’ll be rejected holds me captive.
I wish I could touch you. I wish I could be more than a simple like.