4

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.

Time passed.

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.

Parts:
1,2,3

3

Time moved slowly then, and the seasons changed.  The sun, no longer awake when they rose, also set before they returned home in the evening.  It always gives that particular time of a year such a feeling of nostalgia, tension, imprisonment.  At least, this is what she always thought.  It was for him though, the time of year where he could finally be productive.  He was writing more now, and as the days get colder, shorter — the less he wants to be outside the more he feels like he can accomplish.  He was at home, somehow, in this very narrow time of year that, for others, was unbearable.  For him, it was necessary.  It was necessary to have seasons, to feel the change throughout the year.  It reminded him that he too changes, or should, or can.  She just let him write, let him read and she continued to bake, cook and go for long walks.  She still craved the outdoors, to feel the wind on her cheeks, her hands cracking in the dry air, her ankles exposed on those days that look warm, but really aren’t at all.
Sometimes, during this time of year, on those nights of supreme togetherness, of the utmost compassion for each other, laying on the bed for hours on end, listing to music, looking, thinking.  Realizations, or perhaps, even those little questions that always get them in trouble seem to pop up.  Not tonight though.  He got home and there she was in the kitchen making something new for a dinner party they were invited too.  Increasingly, he thought, we are getting a reputation for bringing such good food that we will eventually disappoint the guests sometime with a dish that lacks taste, depth, inspiration.  He loved coming home to this type of situation, this scene that plays over in his head on his walk back from the metro stop.  It is there, always looming, and he knows that when he opens the door and his mind is correct in its assumptions about the waiting scene, that it will be a good night.

She was so frustrated with cooking tonight.  So tired of dinner parties, of dinner in general.  Drinking her way through the recipe with a dose of red wine here and there, she thought she would be able to finish it early, and have time for a nap, a walk, or even just a short bath to let loose some of this, this inner turmoil that was breeding inside her all day.  Earlier, when she was out for a coffee with the new book she picked up last week, she just had this moment of selfishness, and then, sensibility.  This book she thought, is seeing right through me, the words are eating me up, I’m completly consumed, enthralled, tied-in to this story that I can’t think about my own life right now.

She stopped again, to contemplate a particular passage that moved her, challenged her so deeply, that her walk home was in a fog, a haze of mental energy.  So here she was now, back in the kitchen, that moment from the afternoon still stuck in the back of her mind — she hoped the wine would help her release it, but instead it stayed, locked into her subconscious.  Was he talking to me?  What did he just say?

He got in the shower to wash off the dirt of the day.  He hated going to parties when he felt dirty.  Sometimes, when she cooks bacon, he can’t even stand to be in the apartment because the smell permeates everything — his clothes, his skin, his hair.  It is all he can do to not throw up each time.  Luckily it isn’t a normal habit of hers.  She knew he hated the smell of it.  Lingering, perhaps a bit long in the shower, he realized that they were normally late to parties.  Most of the time, he didn’t care so much, because the people they were going to see didn’t matter to him – even though he needed the social atmosphere to somehow manage his own life and thoughts, he didn’t necessarily need certain people to be there.  He’d grown really tired of the same group of friends – and craved a change.

He changed into something casual yet non-casual, and she put on her favorite outfit (of course, he thought).  Whatever it was she was making turned out, as expected by both of them, absolutely perfect, but would not be admired as much by their friends as they hoped.  They left, food in one hand, wine in the other, empty hands intertwined.  Ready, they both thought separately but at the same time, I can do this.

2

After breakfast, nothing really happened.  But, it was one of those mornings that promotes a lot of thinking, and as such, he was thinking about them.  If this continues, he wondered…  He is often times so fatalistic, and he hates it, these ideas and questions.  But so many times it turns out so much better than expected.  A long time ago, he realized that by having no expectations, he was rarely let down.  She let me into her life, and thus far, it has been nothing but complete inspiration, love and an overwhelming feeling of romanticism.  He didn’t think this would end, and he knew it from the beginning.She was ready to go out, but she knew that he wanted to stay in for the day, even though the weather was so nice – but she also knew that she could convince him to go for a walk later.  She loved those walks around the park, just them, no dogs, no people around, so late in the evening.  Arm in arm, talking frankly about whatever popped into their minds — each and every thing, nothing to hold back.  It was neutral ground really — a place to discuss and think, but together, not on their own.
The only thing is that so many times, those walks ended with a feeling of, well, nothing really.  She so often wished for more, but didn’t know what to say.  Going home, it always seemed that the computer beckoned them.  He wanted to read, but not a screen, instead a page of a book — a piece of literature.  The end of the newspaper magazine was always looming on the bedside table, waiting for him to finish the crossword puzzle — he did them, but secretly, hated it, they always made him feel inferior for not knowing more words, more definitions.
Later that night, she snuck into bed, next to him, he was half asleep, but knew when she arrived — he could still smell the lingering scent of toothpaste and soap.  Smells are import for him, he thought about the time he first realized her scent, when he could recognize it, remember it, think about it as an actual thing.  It made him excited.  She made him excited, and ever more, it was just a look or a touch of her hand against his leg.  She knew this — and did it on purpose…even though he knew exactly the spots on her body she loved touched.  It was becoming too easy these days, these lazy days spent at home, doing nothing of consequence, but they meant so very much to him.  Late that night, while trying to fall back asleep, he realized that it was these types of things, experiences, thoughts, and daily activities that people miss the most when they aren’t there.  He hates routines, but these, they are different — the function outside of routine.  They are feelings, emotions, relationships to each other on a level that is beyond love, beyond compassion — so far beyond these that they transcend their lives, which have become so easily entwined.  He realized, at that moment in time, lying there in bed with her, that there is no other place in the world he wanted to be.  He also realized that his love for her had grown to a point of no return.