Leaning into the Afternoons


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(Birmingham, 2004)

Midnight. Driving. The night air through the windows has a late-Spring quality: warm, but with a hint of chill around the edges…Winter still clinging as the year moves on. Our plans went out those windows long ago, abandoned to the moment. Now we wander asphalt pathways, no destination in mind. Conversation weaves between us…words casually released swirl about our heads before dissipating. If we had the sense we would savor them for they will, inevitably, lose themselves as words often do.

The CD player becomes an empty stage as we try on music like roles. The notes expand to fill the night, stirring the eumenides to fire my soul. Laughter, secrets, and questions gently offered (to mean as much in the asking as the answers ever will) are all hearts creeping out of hiding…feeling in the dark for the hope of connection, of warmth, of comfort, of home.

My breath catches in my throat as a new song resonates between us. Do you feel that, too? I wonder. These are the moments that lift us up beyond human experience. Even if our natures will eventually undo us, moments like this – like this – will endure. There are no atheists in foxholes, and there are no cynics at these lofty heights. I’m beginning to admire who I am when I’m with you. I’m beginning to like what we are together. I’m beginning to love you. Whatever happens, and there are other worlds than these, let me always hold on to this moment. Always.