Today was our last mandatory school meeting before classes really get underway. I have not ready any books, I have not created a timeline of when things have to be done, I have not stopped to think about when I might be able to sleep. All I keep thinking about is if I’ll be able to hack it, and how much I miss physical contact.
We have had, in total, 3 cohort meetings and 3 classes so far. Each and every time there is some new get-to-know-you “game” and we all end up saying the same three things about ourselves. Mine usually begins with coming from Wisconsin, which was novel until yesterday when I met a girl from Madison, and ends with me exposing the situation of how Ben came to be left behind with our house and pets. This usually is met with “AWWWW”, which is sweet, but has come to sicken me a little. No one else that I have met is doing the long distance so far. There is one girl whose partner is in Maine, so that’s quite a ways away.
As I was half falling asleep in the Q&A portion of the meeting, I kept thinking of Ben, if this is the right choice of program, if this is the right time, etc. I then settled on a thought that was more disturbing than all the rest; I haven’t been touched in weeks. Not specifically from a sexual standpoint, but meaning I have not had more physical contact than a pat on the shoulder in weeks. I think the last hug I got was from my mom when we dropped her off at the airport.
Before everyone broke free at the end of the meeting, I HAD to ask a girl that I have come to know over the past few days to just hug me. She’s very exuberant and very open so I knew it would be a sure thing. She beamed and hugged me so tight and so long that it almost got awkward. But it was grand. I felt a weight lifted off of me just by that simple act of friendship and love. It’s no Ben Bear Hug, but it will have to do for now.