Turns out that as has been happening far too often of late during "the apartness," Tom and I had texted back and forth and talked a little throughout the day, but we hadn't really gotten to just sit and talk and hang out together, something that we consider the lifeblood of our relationship and somehting that we both cherish.
Almost on cue without knowing anything about any of this, right about 8:50PM Tom called me while I was mid-shut down, and I turned completely off both computers. Not sleep or hibernate or some other too quick to turn it back on state, but off. OFF. It was almsot eery not to hear the slight buzz that seems so constant as a backdrop to my life when I'm at home.
We had a really nice talk for about 40 minutes, and we both agreed that thousands of miles between us is no excuse to get flabby on our communication and connecting, and is in fact all the more reason we should be keeping it strong, so we will be making a conscious and deliberate effort to do that. Oddly enough, while being absorbed in reading blogs or Plurking (you haven't heard of that? really? go there now. please. then come back.) or doing whatever the hell it is when I stare at the screen for awhile does tend to suck time away from me, it can also make it easier than ever to stay in touch with my sweetheart. We have a little online Scrabble
After we hung up, the computers stayed off another hour and a half or so while I dug through boxes looking for a particular poem Tom wrote me long ago because I've been meaning to find it but have been too busy mindlessly sitting in front of the computer. While looking, I got to sit on the floor and dig through a mix of old memories - my baby book, my mother's handwriting on an envelope she sent me in college, pages from journals I'd forgotten I'd written while she was dying, various bits of evidence of old friendships I'd somehow forgotten to miss, random pictures of me in Japan given with care in by those who took them, the blanket my mom cross-stitched for me before I was born and the doll I've had since birth, poems I wrote so many years ago, my report card from first grade and so very much more.
So at the end of a couple of hours being powered down, Tom and I found a reminder to connect more often because we enjoy each other's company in whatever form it has to take right now, and I found a connection to some major pieces that have shaped who I am. Sadly, I still haven't found that poem. Yet. I guess a couple of hours offline wasn't quite enough, but the next time I find myself going mindless at the screen but still wandering around the Internets just because it's there, I'll power down again to go look some more.