prose

Saudade

I lay there slouched and unassuming, my head turned to face the silver screen of the tv that hangs on the wall in front of me. Scenes from Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle flashes by and I find myself content with the present moment. Suddenly some friends come barging in, high with smoke and loud with laughter. I allow them a small smile to acknowledge and let them know I do not mind their chaotic presence. I turn back to the tv to watch the film again when suddenly again I feel someone touching, caressing, rubbing my shoe, the one propped up casually on one of the arms of the sofa. I quickly glance at the source of the human touch and I see him, someone who is just as unassuming as I am. I do not move my foot and he continues to stroke the top of my shoe, pressing into the blue and black checkered canvas of my Vans as if trying to feel the curvatures, the ridges of my toes running across his fingertips. He does this absentmindedly for a few more minutes and although I know he is a friend, I cannot help but feel a tiny shudder of pleasure run up from where he is touching me—a simple rubbing of my encased feet—to my brain. It stimulates me in a way I have since forgotten about. I never thought I had missed your touch.

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