Our hearts tend to live in multiple places. Gabriel Garcia Marquez said, "My house has more rooms than a whorehouse," and it seems he was right. We often have many loves throughout our lives, and some of those rooms exist, albeit closed, forever. And the way the world works we become scattered over countries and continents.
The way we show love to people is to ask after them, to want to hear their stories, to need to hear their stories, to be curious about them, to have them be curious and desirous readers of us, as text, in return. To pay attention. To try to show up for those we say are important.
The most efficient and effective way to inadvertently let someone know, or to make them feel, which amounts to about the same thing in practice, you're just not that important is to be that "lazy reader." To not as questions. To forget.
And Marquez also wrote, "If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already."
And I hope I remember to say that to you and you and all those I love when we, too, become scattered over the earth, attached by hearts and phones and screens.
Love is so much better when up close when we practice reading each other well.