Nicole Bidol

Distance Diminished

March 2, 2022

The ominous red button on my phone screen when I make calls reminds me of the hundreds of miles of distance I try so hard to dismiss.  

I miss my family, friends and boyfriend from home, but their virtual presence comforts me. Although the moments we spend with our loved ones symbolize much more, the occasions we spend apart can be just as special. 

College made me recognize the beauty of unlimited service and how one call possesses the power to change my day. I learned to enjoy the small moments that remind me of love, which miles cannot confine. 

My boyfriend Evan lives in D.C. for school. The distance between us gives date nights new meaning. We order similar foods as if we were together, like crepes on Valentine’s Day or a Mexican themed dinner.

We brainstorm ideas and ensure we receive our meals at the same time. As we take our first bite together, “How I Met Your Mother” entertains us in the background. 

I fondly gaze into his pixelated eyes as we laugh over trivial tales from our past.    

We go for walks where we see and hear the world around one another. The clatter of dishes in Central Dining, bustling of students walking to class, magnificent wind, Lake Champlain, the National Mall or odd conversations from strangers.   

We also play chess, read short stories and write letters that remind us of a past when couples in love didn’t have the luxury of instant video calls. 

I assure you I am not in love with a mere avatar, but rather the person behind the screen.

Finding new ways to interact makes time apart feel better. 

Virtual game nights with friends from home ends in laughs. We play Jackbox Party Pack for hours where we accuse one another of deceitful lies in “Fakin’ It.”   

It also resembles a time to catch up on our lives away from coastal Portsmouth, New Hampshire. 

Daily calls with my parents transform me into a commentator. I document everything from the moment I stumble out of bed to eclectic phrases used by my professors or friends to frigid frisbee practices. 

Their support transports me back into the ambiance of home. My dad scours around to find my cat Daisy. I vigorously wave my hands to grab her attention and express my affection.  

Teleportation sounds delightful; nothing would make me happier than to be with loved ones in seconds. Since this remains unfeasible, I latch onto the unique growth my relationships have experienced. 

Roman poet Sextus wrote “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but if someone wanted to invent teleportation, I have no objections. 

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