The January edition of the IndieWeb Carnival centers on positive internalization. foreverliketh.is suggested we seek out positive memories, “memories that remind you of the good parts of yourself; the facets of your being that you want to see more of, that you wish to nurture and grow.”

Here I am.

There’s a weekend-long dance workshop in town. While she’s certainly not our first house guest, the situation feels brand new. It must be the Japanese mattress we just bought, which turns our one-bedroom shoebox of an apartment into a temporary bed and breakfast (and lunch and dinner) for Anneli, the journalist from Sweden.

I haven’t seen her in years. The most vibrant memory I have of her is ending a three-day stay at her welcoming, warm house, and saying to Anja: “I think I’m going to quit drinking”.

I’m 2100 days sober today.

There it is, as soon as I see her face, the flutter. She waves at me through the living room window as I finish up the last bit of work. Between Anja and myself, I’m the lucky one: I’m working from home today, which affords me the luxury of treating Anneli to a lazy lunch. There will be cheese. Mountains of cheese.

To enter into Anneli’s presence is to soften the senses. The way you run loudly across a hallway only to stop in your tracks as soon as you see the baby, sleeping quietly in the next room. Anneli shapes conversations like a potter, I think, marveling at how she moulds a safe space out of nothing. The flutter, and it makes me want to lay my head down and sleep.

To my surprise, the flutter is entirely reciprocal, because whatever I feel she brings into my world, she apparently feels I bring into hers. In the evenings, she, Anja, and I talk and talk and talk, about love, kids, Israel, the war, the war, about eros, loss, mating in captivity, the skin on our heads, about coming into our bodies. Effortlessly, the flutter. The gesture of every thing momentarily falling into place.

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