The Lovers say, take a breath of good air, then keep giving and receiving and just keep doing this.
There was this one sleepover in his dorm room during our dating time when we looked at each other, we both remember this, and he put his hand on my abdomen or else it was already there, and there was this look, a silent knowing shared between us that was like ye shall birth from here. That few seconds lasted forever and ever. Then boom here we are at fifty and he’s driving me to the hospital for this procedure which is the very end of whatever that dorm room moment was. We didn’t even have to talk about it, like “remember that moment,” it was already hanging around like big sweet cobweb making the day oddly and perfectly romantic. That feeling lasted up until evening when my roommate started crying out to be cleaned up. Apparently she’d soiled herself. The room was really small. Not sure if I stated that before. Every time staff came in to check her vitals, or mine, everybody had to move, somehow also including me, like I had to get smaller in my bed, condense the items on my bedside tray, things like that. Anyway. Personally I was not experiencing the odor (which could be my years of decongestant nasal spray, maybe an early sign of dementia, not sure, I just know I generally can’t smell things anymore which was useful in this case). But my vision is fine and I know when my husband’s face shifts from 100% I-am-with-you to 90% I-am-with-you/10% do-you-smell-that.
By now it’s been a long day, I’m pretty doped up, and there’s literal foulness in the air, but he is ready and willing to spend the night in the nonreclining chair in this room if it’s what I want. He says it and also I can see that he means it. But really, just getting to this point was more than enough. At this point, we are talking multiple lifetimes of more-than-enough. I was like, please go home. Get some sleep. There might be Vicks in the the medicine cupboard, maybe put some up your nose. I love you I love you I will see you in the morning.
The Lovers are a guide to let a partnership make what it wants to make, hold what need to be held, drop what should be dropped. When one of you needs to step out for air, do that, then come back better at love, better at everything.