How easy it can be to risk everything, and how difficult. How to let yourself go into another? How can people speak of it as though it is so simple? How can it be so simple for some?
I wondered this before I met Eve. I wondered what it meant to be that much in love. I wondered how long it took for that trust to be found. For faith to manifest. There would be some sign. Fireworks bursting into the sky at just the right moment. A bell ringing. A star suddenly twinkling. Was there ever a sign with Eve? It seemed as though we were apart, separate, and then we were suddenly one.
It is a frightening thing to become bigger than yourself. How to navigate the world with four legs and four eyes and two heads and four arms and two mouths? Plato’s vision of the origin of love. It is simple, really: there is only one heart. That is how it is possible. That is how it can be easy. That is how it can be simple.
How does it feel to enter into that moment? How does it feel to have another’s heart merge with your own? Ah, there are so many ways that we might mistake the bending of our spirits as love. The maternal desire to take care mistaken for romance. The urge to conquer mistaken for tenderness. The simple curiosity mistaken for true yearning. To enter into that moment of merging hearts is to forget everything about yourself and remember everything about yourself at once, and to find that you are not the only one inside your self. To find that you are not only inside your self, but another self, as well. That you are two selves, with two bodies, with two minds, and one heart.
It was easy to remember that with Eve. As distant as we were sometimes, as wild as she could be and as cautious as I could be, we were halves of a whole being with a big, inquisitive heart. We were each other’s foil and each other’s support. As it is when there is love. As it must be.
Our first morning brought us light and noise. Our part of the city was so much more alive in the daytime. Trucks drove up and down, delivery men yelled to each other. The morning smelled clean to me. As though the dew had given everything outside a spit-shine. As though all the grime could be carried away with just a few drops from the night’s condensation.
The chemical scent of the linens was superseded by the scent of Eve’s hair. We were unshowered and tired and had been traveling and exploring for twenty-four hours and still, her hair had its characteristic scent that I could not place. I tried to find it in her bags with no success. It seemed that it just oozed from her pores. She would have loved for me to believe that.
And I did. I did because I wanted to. Because it was so easy to imagine. Because I didn’t care what the scent was named or where it came from. She was the subject. She was the main attraction.
Her morning eyes. Closed until the last possible second, even if light were bright in her face and the sun high in the sky. She kept them scrunched closed and did not look at me. I kissed the top of her head. I wanted to just stay there. But I knew there was much to do, much to be seen, much to be learned, and that Eve would want to get going, whether or not she happened to be awake at that particular moment. I knew.
It took us a long time to bathe and dress. Our first lovemaking in that building was sweet. We lathered each other’s bodies in the shower. Drank from each other’s skin as the lukewarm water flowed over us. The hours of travel and walking, of planes and buses and trains sloughed off of us. The past was scrubbed away and swirled into the drain. The tiled wall was cold against my back and I did not notice. Only Eve. Only Eve’s hands, Eve’s kisses, Eve’s burning skin against mine.
We wrapped each other in the rough towels. Dried each other’s hair. Laughed with the giddiness of being there, in this city, new and clean, together.
We took stock of our room once again. A small kitchenette stood in the corner. A sink and a hotplate with a cupboard above it. We would be able to make due with that.
There is so little that we actually need. A warm room filled with love and the scent of a lover. A place to wash. A window that lets in the light. A way to boil water.
With Eve, it seemed possible to get by with so little. She was enough. We were enough.
We descended the stairs together once again to take stock of just where we had arrived. The morning sun in this city was stronger than at home, where it seemed to drift slowly up into the sky, bringing light but little warmth. Here, the sun heated our skin immediately. I could see the pleasure on Eve’s face.
The sun made her so happy. She spread her arms out as though to embrace it. Her eyes closed, head back, she seemed to be inviting it to fill her up. So simple, the warmth of sunlight, and so much joy from it. I watched her and smiled.
How deeply I loved her. How easy it was to love her. How I could have watched her standing in the sun that way, though it was, perhaps, only a moment. I felt eternities of love reverberate through me when I looked at her. It felt that way. Cosmic, yes. Transcendent, yes. How could I call it anything else?
She brought her brightness into my heart. Somehow, she had found me, and we had chosen each other, and we came to this strange place to become new together. To become what we imagined we could be. To have whatever life we might want to have. To chase our wild dreams and learn for the sake of learning. To live.
That morning, we walked around our block, taking in the buildings once again. They towered high over us. The sky was cloudless once again.
I pushed the visions of the night into the back of my mind. I tried the push them out, but they remained there, quiet, but present. I did not want to think of them. I did not want to allow them to grow the worry in my heart.
And Eve took my hand and pulled me down the street and I did forget about the nightmares. I did not think of them. I did not think of her disappearing in the sea. I did not think of being pulled under. I did not think of everything we had being swept away. I did not think of anything then except that our lives were waiting to be made, that we were making it. I knew that there was no point of no return, but that there was no need to consider returning.
The city was already becoming ours.