I think the best lover would be really scared of dying. They would come home early every night. They would never bike in a busy city, never drive at all. They would never jaywalk. They would never do drugs—maybe pot once in a while but only on a couch, between four walls, when they’d checked the forecast and there was no chance of natural disaster. They wouldn’t drink too much, make enemies, ever go off their anti-depressants. Even when they stopped being mine, I wouldn’t have to worry. There would be no chance of disappearing endings, of being left holding feelings severed at one end.
I think the best lover would want to spend all their time with me. They wouldn’t be able to imagine anything else they’d rather be doing. They’d hold my hand while they went to the toilet. We’d reuse the toothpaste foam. When we’d walk in public, they’d tangle their fingers in my hair, palms not enough, scalp warmer, closer to bone, closer to brain. They’d cancel their Saturday nights, make every hour 8 a.m. Sunday, when together is unthinking. They’d sit behind me in my classes. They’d finish my sentences in therapy. They would text me once an hour just to tell me a joke.
I think the best lover would have a million lives, so that each time they fell out of love with me they could be reborn. They would walk in the door of the night they first met me, look around. They would come up and say hi, knowing nothing yet.