I`m drinking my morning coffee and I’m trying to remember every single detail about last Monday, when after ten months, I finally got to have physical contact with my husband.
Arrive at prison, check in, sit and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. Walk to visiting room, wait, wait, and….wait. This prison is disorganized on an almost extreme level and it seems that every visit is short by at least a half an hour to an hour and a half. As I sat there waiting, becoming frustrated, I could feel myself fidget and my nerves started to take over. The waiting exasperated my emotions and I could feel my eye sockets rim with tears from the intensity I was feeling in my head and heart. Finally, an hour and a half after the scheduled visit was supposed to start, out walks my husband with a boyish grin on his face and we don’t say a word but instead fall into a deep embrace that had been a long time coming. I felt myself shaking in his arms as he hugged me tighter and told me he loved me. That hug seemed like it lasted an eternity and in that time the prison walls and other visitors had fallen away and it was just us and this powerful embrace that was everything I needed.
When we finally did separate and sit down at the table, that had a board between us to prevent anything other than above the table contact, we held hands tightly and stared at each other. I hadn’t seen this man’s face without dodging my own reflection in the glass for such a long time. I wanted to study every pore, every hair, every beautiful wrinkle that only in person, face to face, viewing could offer me. I smiled so much my cheeks hurt and I almost started to cry out of pure relief for a new chapter, an improved chapter.
We got to talk without the barrier of glass and a broken speaker, we got to lean in close and whisper, we got to kiss with our hands the entire visit and while it may not seem like much to anyone else, it is the entire world to me to be able to feel the warmth of my soul mate’s skin cradled in my hands. Even sharing food did not interrupt our long overdue skin on skin connection 🙂 We laid out a vending machine feast and managed to keep one of our hands occupied with handholding at all times. I didn’t want one moment of that visit to go by where I wasn’t mainlining physical touch with my husband into my life.
The end of the visit came swiftly and without much warning. Where did that time go? I had told myself earlier to enjoy and lose myself in that last embrace and to not think about who was watching us. I have a very uneasy feeling about the end of visits because the guards tend to watch the goodbyes of couples like we were their own personal porno and it sickens me to share personal moments like that with the vulture like stares of people who have no insight into my marriage. So I hugged tightly and kissed my husband like no one else existed. This was, of course, interrupted by a female guard who made a comment about our kissing(which was quite modest compared to the face sucking that the visitors next to us were engaged in) so we got in a last minute squeeze and said our goodbyes.
I told my husband during our visit that I really love him but that I really hate prison. I told him that if it were anyone else I would have left long ago and that is the truth. Going ten months without physical contact with him was one of the most difficult and darkest periods of my life. There was a fight to keep my emotional sanity in check most days. The power of physical connection is strong. So strong that it will make or break you in a life like this. I like to believe it has made me and I am definitely ready for better days ahead.