When he stays here on weekends, he brings a bag with clothing and toiletries, his laptop, briefcase, and assorted work materials. He takes it all with him when he goes. He’s not permitted to leave behind any evidence of his contingent existence here.
Even when I buy him clothes, (when I want him to dress a certain way for a dinner, an event, or just because,) he has to take them when he leaves. I don’t want them here.
I never wanted it to feel like he was moving in. I have nothing against living with someone (I’ve lived with partners before and I’m sure I’ll do it again), but it was never a viable possibility for us because J’s place of employment is too far away — the drive isn’t feasible during the work week.
Imagining him ‘living here’ just on the weekends felt artificial and sad to me. Any small reminders of his presence would mean I’d feel his absence that much more when he was gone. Besides that, the ubiquitous threat of J leaving meant that any of the creature comforts that accompany shared lives ultimately felt less like comfort and more like delusions and denial.
I guess my refusal to let him keep a few things here was my attempt at keeping some distance — a futile attempt to keep our lives from intertwining more than they already had. For the record, my attempts at obscuring his absence and buffering the impending loss have been wildly ineffective.
Since there’s no point in trying to maintain my distance, I’ve decided it’s time to make some changes and give J more of a place in my home.
Along with more of a presence here, this will be his first weekend under new house rules.