Arrival. The party, after the labor of cooking, the wine and their minds in a complete state of flux. He didn’t want to be there, really at all, but it was important for them for some reason he couldn’t quite place, something was looming in their lives, something new and foreign and exciting. Although they were both looking, waiting, listening, talking, this thing, this piece of them was still not coming to the surface, so each time he thought, each time that we have the opportunity to push this thing forward, I have to take it. The dinner party was one such opportunity. He thought of this passage from Tropic of Cancer that he always re-reads when this feeling comes over him, but tonight, it didn’t help. Words sometimes fail to reach him when those words in the past had made their way to his mind, to his thinking, to his soul in some cases – and now, those words are just words.
She knew he didn’t want to be there, but somehow over the course of the evening she had convinced herself that she wanted to go, wanted to be social tonight despite his apparent mood. She knew that it was a lost cause with him, but he always made the best of it anyway, because he knew she wanted to be there. She loved this about him, his ability to know what she desired, and how easily her mind could be made up, unwavering in its decision making. This close to Christmas she thought, what a bold time of year to have a dinner party, especially without mentioning the holidays. Yet, even with her willingness to go, why did she have this feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach? She thought of this idea that there was something looming over them— they had mentioned it before, just casually because neither of them wanted to talk about it too much for fear of scaring whatever it was off, but it was there, they both felt it, knew it. She knew this is one of the other reasons he came to the party. He is waiting for this to appear. She loved this about him.
So here we are, he thought. Here we are at this dinner party and here I am with her, the one. Sometimes, these parties with their lack of real conversation, false attitudes, fake people, were just what he needed to get a seed of a thought in his head to write about later. Sometimes, these parties were actually creative minefields, each person waiting to explode with a story that he just picks up the pieces of them for his own benefit. When he first started doing this, he felt guilty, but then realized that the people he was taking the stories from didn’t care anyway, would never read anything he wrote, would never even know that he was a writer. As he sat there, listening as much as he could stand, he remembered what she told him, that he needed to be more open with what he writes, because he is a writer. She was the first to call him a writer.
He sat, and thought.
One small tear.
He tried to conceal it.
But she saw it.
What is it that makes him so emotional sometimes. She still didn’t understand this side of him, even though they shared everything, sometimes, in bed, in the car, during a walk, he would just come up with something so beautiful, so true about her that it completely takes her off guard. You rarely think these things about yourself, and when someone tells you, then you realize something about yourself you didn’t know before. Maybe, she thought, this is what we are. This is who we are.
She was happy tonight.
His feeling of isolation and distance shifted when he knew she saw the tear stream from his face. She does that to him, makes him release his personal isolation with the world.
That night, in bed, tired from conversation and the trip across town, laying next to each other, neither able to properly fall asleep, hypnotic conversation about their lives, about each other. Craving this, they both thought only of the other. Then, slowly, as the bed started to warm up from their bodies, they slowly drifted off to the white noise of the clock both looking forward to the morning, to the dawn of the next day, because they both knew that when they woke, the other would be there, still warm, still next to them, and that was the most comforting feeling in the entire world.