But the years are short.
I invited J to lay on the wood floor with me. We were in the house he’d purchased earlier this year in the northern suburbs of San Francisco, him sitting on the camping chair I’d brought over last week and me on the nice single chair he’d purchased since he moved in this June.
That’s all the furniture that exists in the living room. Right after he’d purchased the house, I’d ended things and this isn’t the kinda town where a single guy wants to spend out his days. So he hadn’t bought anything besides a mattress and this one nice chair.
“Lay on the floor with me,” I asked. It was after 9 o’clock; we’d been sitting in the nice and camping chairs, drinking hot tea, lazy talking about the house, next steps, ring sizes.
He groaned. “Come on, two minutes.” He scrabbled up out of the camping chair and came to lay next to me on the blanket I’d set on the floor.
I nuzzled into his shoulder crease. It was likely the only time we’d be able to do this before it all got painted and furnished and shaped like a lived-in home. It felt like a picnic, like a marking of time, that time we could lay on the floor together at 9pm on a Thursday only now, before it was too late.
I angled to lie on top of him, propping myself up, looking into his face.
“It’s so short,” I murmured.
“Twenty-five, thirty-five years,” I replied. “It’s so short.”
I got kinda teary, staring down into his eyes that I didn’t get to see for three months, feeling body warmth I didn’t get to experience, hearing the wry, insightful, hilarious, ridiculous, planful words I didn’t get to smile at.
I saw the New Years’ turnings, flying off like film pages. They seemed at that moment like just a handful. Only a few, what felt like only a sample.
“It is short,” he said, closing up his eyes against new wetness himself.
“The days are long, but the years are short,
and I want to spend them with you.”