He holds my hand. He touches me on the shoulder. He hugs me and it is a hug starved of skin. He is rarely hugged. He shambles. He has become monstrous, and yet he is diminished. Lost weight. Lost life. Lost dreams. A life coralled by so many losses. He needs. I can give some things but not enough. I do not want to give him more. He is not my person. Even my person feels the lack of me. I have nothing to give. I have so little for myself and this small amount I cling on to jealously.
So he touches me and it is a man touching a woman, and it is an old friend, knowing that most of his old friends have abandoned him and I will not do so.
I am not the abandoning type. I am loyal. Kisses me on the cheek and I am reminded of other similar kisses. Other, closer, newer friends who I worry for. Don't let them fall as my old friend has fallen. Keep them safe. I love them more and if they fell I would catch them without question, I would keep this faith that I have in them.A hard promise, but one that feels right.