It is all well and good to say that we should fling ourselves into the heart of every moment, to live splendidly in the now, to throw caution like confetti into the wind and celebrate our most intense emotions without a care for the watching outside world.
In short, it would be wonderful if we could all be five years old again.
But having lived past the age of making mud pies (and sometimes eating them), it is sometimes difficult to truly enjoy exactly where I am. The taste of dirt and salt from past experience tries to linger and spoil the present.
Walking down 15th street towards The Naked Lounge for late night coffee, my arm intertwined with his as my icy hand sneaks into his warm pocket, I am happy and laughing. December is definitely nipping at my nose, but his long legs set a good pace, and so it is warm enough. Inside the little shop there is something new to try, something sweet and amazing called Pumpkin Cheesecake Latte. I order, and when it comes it has a beautiful leaf etched in milk across the top. I am delighted with what has become the everyday artistry of baristas everywhere; even so, it is special, one more charming detail added to our picturesque wool pea coats, a darling couple who cannot stop leaning in towards one another, who are always touching as if to telegraph, I am here, and here you are.
On our way back to watch Jessica Jones, we stop at Petra’s for a late night dinner. He smiles as he asks me what I want from the menu, and I smile right back knowing that he already knows what I will say. We begin talking about a conversation we started last week, and when the food arrives we are startled, as if we had forgotten why we are waiting.
It is only as we step into the elevator, as he reaches past me to swipe the security thingie and select our floor, that I am suddenly and inexplicably overwhelmed with sadness.
Tonight this trip up is part of our foreplay, as he reaches for me and I slide my hands inside his jacket, tilt my head up for his cool lips as his hands caress the small of my back and the curve of my backside. I want him, suddenly, urgently–now. But even within this moment I cannot help but taste the bittersweet knowledge of days to come.
Someday, this building will be just another address on this long block, and this elevator will be a place I have forgotten altogether.
Someday, we may not be holding hands and telling jokes and stealing kisses.
Someday, I may not even remember his name.
And this is why I cannot wholly indulge my five year old id, because I know that someday is out there, waiting to pounce upon me.
But neither can I let all the someday doubts ruin the opportunity to be wildly happy, right now.
In a moment the elevator doors will open, and he will take my hand again for the short few steps down the hall to his door. He will take down plates from the tall cabinet that I can only reach on tippy-toe, and I will settle on the couch to watch his careful unwrapping of each item. While we enjoy our show my hands will be wandering down his muscular legs and across his chest; by the time the end credits flash upon the screen, I will want him more than I have ever wanted anything, ever, in my life. But he always makes me wait…
In order to savor all the passion and pleasure of right now, I have to let go of all the fears about tomorrow. There can be no Plan B, no pulling back, no safe guarding my heart or my feelings because otherwise I am separating myself from today.
And really, today is too amazing to waste.