I put the top down on my car – the ‘72 Mustang my parents gifted me for graduation. (The emotional weight of this gift will forever outweigh any monetary value, but that is a story for another day.)
He went to the box office to purchase our tickets. Once he returned, and with time to burn before our movie, we leaned the bucket seats forward and climbed into the back.
He sat upright, feet resting on the seat-back in front of him, legs crossed at the ankles. I laid along the remainder of the bench, knees bent, head resting in his lap.
We were bathed in late-afternoon, late-spring sunlight; golden and sherbet-colored shards escaping the cloud cover.
He ran his fingers through my hair and I told him:
“This isn’t real.”
I’m not sure why I said it. Perhaps I’ve always found it easier to distrust my contentment and manage expectations.
There was a long pause before he replied. “But maybe it is.”
Within that maybe there was a world of possibility, a world in which our relationship felt more substantial than a stolen weekend here or there.
Later I told him “We are pioneers.”
We’d joked about it before – the relative newness of meeting someone online back in ‘04.
“Fuck yeah we are!”
He ruffled my hair and I brought my hand up for a high-five.
And then we went inside to watch a film Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman made together.