“Now, absence can exist…

Now, absence can exist only as a consequence of the other: it is the other who leaves, it is I who remain. The other is in a condition of perpetual departure, of journeying; the other is, by vocation, migrant, fugitive; I–I who love, by converse vocation, am sedentary, motionless, at hand, in expectation, nailed to the spot, in suspense–like a package in some forgotten corner of a railway station.

Amorous absence functions in a single direction, expressed by the one who stays, never by the one who leaves: an always present I is constituted only by confronting with an always absent you.

— Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

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