Can you fall in love in isolation
Over ice cream pints and soft guitar melodies
Over shared secrets and anxieties
Can you let go of your insecurities and be patient with someone who is doing it for the first time
Someone who hasn’t let anyone come this close before
Someone with warm hands and a steady gaze
Whose face is the only one you see with any regularity
While ambulances wail and politicians gripe
While family photos and friendly FaceTimes fill the loneliness
Can you fight the void with cooking, with creativity
With projects once lost
By picking up knitting
Can you fall in love with his dedication
His quiet aptitude
His nonchalant brilliance
All from afar
Can you feel safe at night in the dark knowing you are more alone than you ever have been
Snuggled up with the dog
Draped in his soft t-shirt
Donated to quell the nightmares
Can you fall in love alone
Can you fall in love again
Is that possible
While he reads the play you suggested and you try Stephen King on for size
While he bruises you by accident but thrills you on purpose
While your heart forgets its rhythm…
Will he hurt you
Will you hurt him
Most likely
Will it be worth it
Can you take these kinds of leaps when held prisoner by your apartment
By circumstance
Waiting for text responses
Reading while it pours
Dreaming of a future that feels far away
Trips planned for months down the line
Telling yourself to slow down
You’re fine
Stop planning
Can you fall in love without the plan
Without the pain
Without the person
What if you try loving yourself first
Try again later
Maybe if someone showed you how
Maybe if the dog does
Maybe you could fall in love then
In isolation

Thank you Emma, for your story! “Inside Our Time” digital series: