There is shelter in the few minutes before our alarm goes off. When the world is quiet and I forget about the day’s responsibilities. This is the same way he talks about nature. About granite rock walls. Pine trees. Sand dunes. Waterfalls. Dusty dirt roads less travelled. Morning walks into meadows.
I’ve found that same feeling lying in his arms.
I kiss his stubbled jaw as he came to consciousness. In the humbling silence, we dare not raise our voice above whispers. There is something sacred about the quiet. We are pilgrims in its temple. We don’t have a lot to say because it is understood that the moment is precious. We hold each other a little closer. Breathe a little slower. Linger a little longer.
When his cell phone starts to ring, it is as though someone un-hit “pause”. He rolls partially on top of me and starts singing the lyrics to the song. And just like that, the infinite of the moment is gone. I burst out laughing. He does too.
Nose to nose, we start bargaining for more time. Where moments before, time seemed constant; all of a sudden it felt like time was slipping away from us. Why must it feel like this? An ever losing game of catch up.
But even so, each step to the car is slow. Deliberate. He holds my hand and I look down at my feet, willing them to move. I fixate on every detail of the walk. The stillness of the apartments. The emptiness of the street. The cars parked all in line along the sidewalk.
I can’t recall if the trees had flowers the night before, but I am seeing them now. Bright purple blossoms glowing in the soft light of the morning.
He starts the engine and the music comes on. At 5 mph; it’s a snail’s pace to my car. I hold his hand in my lap and start to think about geometry. About how a line is defined by two unique points on the same plane, and how lines extend without end. As he drove me from his apartment to my car, he turns to me and asks, “Can I see you later?”
And I don’t know what to say to him or if words were even appropriate. Because all I can think about is the quiet before the alarm, the flowers in the trees, the lamenting song filling the space in the car between his question and my answer, and the linearity of each moment we share together. If only I can show him, would he need to ask?