On the beach waiting for the E to hit. It was well after midnight, and Mimi and I went to sit on the rocks at the water’s edge. The ocean was nothing but dark and sound: enormous pulses of waves, circled by huge tenor gulls. Waiting, we talked, our voices close against the wind, and I marvelled at the difference in their scale. If you stood three feet away, you wouldn’t have heard us.
I wanted to kiss Mimi that night, but didn’t.
There’s so much in a person to know; until then, you notice things. The millwright father, mentioned in passing. The work ethic. How many books she’s read. How much Eriq loves her. As you’re noticing, you sense that she is careful, that knowing her takes time. You want to tell her that you don’t mind.
There wasn’t nearly enough time. Mimi is a social worker; she would stay up with us as late as she could, then wake up early the next morning to go to work. She never talked about her days when she came home, which made me wonder where she puts it all. That kind of work has to go somewhere, even in the strong ones.
I admire that she helps people for a living, and that she isn’t afraid of being alone.
I kissed her two days later.
She kissed me back.