I have cultivated a certain level of hardness around myself and my single life, I have gotten used to not having that daily domestic intimacy of cooking together with someone or sitting on my couch and talking deeply with someone (not to mention passionate making out on same couch, or any other affection). Even just a few hours with him, in my house, in my bed, puts cracks in that protective shell. He is so very attentive to me, to the experience of being with me, that it undoes me. Even the littlest thing like asking me what size I want the red peppers to be chopped sort of squeezes the air from me. And then the soft parts beneath the shell start to be exposed a little bit between the cracks.
Then he goes away, and when I try to push the pieces of the shell back together, seam to seam, the soft parts get pinched. Their exposure to the attention (to the love) has made them grow. They don't fit underneath the shell anymore.