A seven-minute gift

Wolfgang was thinking of gifts for my alts. Belated Christmas presents. He took a long time to decide. But I had a better idea. Instead of the dress and the shoes that he had planned to get, I said I preferred to see him in Skype.

Although he had sent me several selfies, I had never seen him in Skype, although he had seen me a few times. It's just one of those imbalances in our relationship.

But he hates Skype. More than he hates phones.

"so why to torture me with?" he asked.

"I just want to see you," I replied, "with expressions on your face... to see how you smile..."

"i m not spontaneous," he explained. He receives the message, analyzes it, and responds with the expected reaction.

"And I thought I was funny.  :\ " I pouted.

He LOL'd and explained further, "a good joke make smile inside ... but it is inside." For him, the facial expressions are a way of communicating externally and are, therefore, "fake."

He reiterated that he isn't spontaneous, but he added that he was told he had an expressive face.

We continued talking about fake smiles. I had already accepted the fact that I wouldn't get what I wanted, but he said, "No smile. Just a short time of cam. ... It will be just 2 mins."

He gave me seven. :D

In those seven minutes, he didn't speak to me by voice, so we were typing in IM. Then his phone rang and I listened to him talk fast in French. It sounded like he was hurrying to hang up, but the caller asked another question so the call became twice as long, although probably still under a minute. He sounded impatient, which was understandable, because he really hates talking on the phone for longer than necessary. But I loved listening to him talk. And I told him so. That's when he realized that he forgot to mute himself on Skype. We continued to chat by IM anyway.

In those seven minutes, I was mesmerized. I had to consciously type something and reply to him or else I'd just sit there quietly, drinking him in.

In those seven minutes, he tried to seem cold and distant. But I saw very brief glimpses of emotion. Like the half-second of instantaneous joy when he saw something on the screen in the beginning, when my video came on, although I later realized my image was very dark because I had no lights on in my room. Like his eyes darting to the sides as though looking for escape in the beginning of the call. Like his left hand curling against his left jaw for a moment, then the index fingers of both hands steepling in front of his lips as though he were trying to strike a pose, again for only a brief moment, then both hands disappearing from view. It was as though he didn't know what to do with his hands.

In those seven minutes, I saw a man who tried to project being calm and collected. And, yes, I sensed that coldness, that distance. But I also saw very brief glimpses of discomfort and uneasiness and self-consciousness and vulnerability.

Maybe he really does hate Skype and that's what causes the discomfort and uneasiness and self-consciousness. But it is also very telling that he would do the thing that he hates most, simply because I wished it.