Over a late breakfast of salsa scrambled eggs, toast, and sliced strawberries, we’re listening to NPR and sipping breakfast tea. Occasionally, we murmur commentary to each other on what we’re listening to. My mind wanders from the latest Energy Bill updates, and I look across the table and suddenly feel absurdly lucky. Her head is tilted, her eyes askance as she listens to (and grows indignant at) the radio, and I fleetingly feel like I just woke up from a long dream and this, this, is what is real. Out loud I say, “I’m so lucky,” and her focus shifts to me. She shakes her head affectionately and cracks up. “You’re a weird one,” she says, “I love you.”
We’re at a giant thrift store together, sorting through all the junk to find a few things to take home. She heads for the t-shirts, I dive into the sundresses. Ten minutes later, I’ve scoured the racks, have a few picks, and the first thing I do is stand up on my tip-toes, crane my neck so I can see over the racks, and look for her. I don’t see her right away. But after a few seconds, her purple hoodie catches my eye and I feel a wave of … I don’t know what, exactly. Familiarity, comfort, warmth, affection, love, security, and (dare I say?) a mild surge of arousal, all wrapped up in one feeling that doesn’t have a single name but it should. All of that, just from alighting my eyes on her in a crowded room. Do other beings have the capacity to feel this way? If not, why do we humans? Where does it come from?
I’m lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. I have to get up in the morning to go into the law firm to do some contract work, so I couldn’t go out with her and some friends. That’s fine anyway, because I read a bit, watched a bit of a movie I knew she didn’t want to watch, ate nutella out of the jar with a spoon, and took a bath. It was nice to have the evening to myself. But I can’t sleep without her in bed next to me, big spoon to my little. I slip in and out of half-consciousness, restless, unsettled, waking with a start at every noise, thinking maybe it’s her. She comes in, finally, around 2:30. She sits down on the bed to take off her shoes. “Hi,” I say, mustering all my sleepy energy to squeak out the single syllable. “Awwww you’re awake!” she says, “hi cutie!!” She goes out to brush her teeth, and I prep myself for Sleep Position, turning onto my side and curling up. Soon she’s curled up behind me, and I finally feel the heaviness of sleep settling in. “Did you have fun?” I ask. “Yep!” she says, “but I missed you the whole time.” Not melancholy, just a sweet matter of fact. “Me too.”
This is my life these days. Sometimes I think conflict (in my relationship or just in my life in general) is what most moves me to write. If that’s true, then that’s too bad, because moments like these are just as worthy of being captured.