You reach out for me, but I'm not there. Or rather, you're reaching out for the person I used to be, but you miss. You fall short by about a year. So when you hug me—the me who I am now—it's awkward and stiff and something is missing, It's me. I'm missing, The me I used to be, the person you need only when you need him, has gone. Moved on. He is in another country now, a land where your passport is not valid to where you will never—can never—be granted a visa.
You take what little you can get from that hug, whatever residue of lingering affection that has aged into pity. Because when you always take what you need, it will never be given freely. And so now what once would have been a gift becomes an obligation, a formality, an empty ritual, done to appease long-slumbering gods who will never be sated. The god of emptiness can never be filled.
Somewhere, we share a moment; some other us, in a time and place where we learned to be ourselves. Somewhere where you were able to be honest with me and yourself about what you wanted, and trusted me enough to handle it. And really, isn't that it? The trust? It's the missing element that keeps us from what we want. There were moments when you trusted me enough to give, to open yourself and be a real, reciprocal human with me. But they were too few and fleeting, and maybe I failed to rise to the challenge; failed you like so many so clearly have. Because of who you are, and because they gave into their human nature to take and took from you. And so those spectres haunt us now even as we embrace yet pass through one another like ghosts.