Longing comes for me, unexpectedly. I round a corner, come out into a deserted hallway, and there: longing is waiting for me. Longing leans against the wall, so nonchalant. Longing follows me down the endlessly turning stairs. Longing sits beside me on the bus that roars as it passes under the sulfur streetlamps. Down the bus steps, up the apartment steps--pause by the front door, push the key, wrench the handle around--pause in the living room, eat mozzarella, chat with roommates--pause by another door, push the key in again, wrench another handle around. When I sit down, at home at last, longing is still with me.
Where did you come from? I have asked. Why are you here? No reply comes. Instead, Longing wraps its arms around me, and rests its head on my shoulder. I can shake free of it for now, but I know it will curl up with me later. It will come to me as I sleep, like a cat that always shares the bed, and I won't have the heart to shove it away when it leans against me, and purrs.