Long distance relationships are incredibly difficult - filled with awkward Skype calls and uncomfortable longing. One aspect that isn’t often explored is the sexual tension and stress that accumulates while away from one another. 'Close Away' explores one couple’s yearning for intimacy while thousands of miles apart.
The scene begins with a charming interaction between two long-distance lovers. At first, things are fairly innocent. The two chat about how they miss one another, but the conversation quickly turns to an uncomfortable discussion of each other’s porn viewing habits. Javi, the boyfriend, reveals that he was up late to “relieve some stress” and his lover, Laura, quickly surmises that he is about to look at porn. The two discuss their pent-up sexual frustrations and Laura reveals that she often touches herself while thinking of Javi. Things get a bit more uncomfortable once Laura suggests engaging in cybersex.
Javi fiddles with a coin on the table, clearly uncomfortable with the idea. He interjects and says that it feels weird, but Laura urges him to continue. Laura is clearly desperate for the touch of her lover and explains that she needs the interaction to continue. Javi gives in, and the discomfort slowly gives way to genuine pleasure. Javi fantasizes about Laura’s touch and gives in to desire as Laura does the same. A steamy, erotic sequence plays out briefly, but is quickly interrupted once Javi finishes and is left to uncomfortably watch Laura on his laptop screen. Laura admits that this has made her feel closer to Javi, but it seems the interaction didn’t have the same effect on Javi. The short subtly reveals Javi’s unease as he struggles to end the Skype call. Laura beams with happiness after their intimate call has come to an end, but Javi begins tearing up and hesitates to return her earnest “I love you.”
The short effectively explores the ways desire can consume us when apart from our loved ones. In a heart-wrenching twist, it is revealed that our cravings for intimacy can sometimes lead us to do unsavory things and hurt our lovers.
'Close Away' feels especially prescient in this time of global pandemics and quarantines. It’s likely that many others can relate to the longing that Laura feels or the guilt that Javi feels, thanks to the tumultuous state of the world and the way it has kept many separated from their families and lovers. The short is poignant and affecting in the way it explores the often unspoken realities of long-distance pining.