Here We Dwell

When we retired, we got an apartment in Paris. If the night was clear and warm, we would sit on the terrace. No need to sleep that much anymore, so we would talk for hours.

“Do you remember our old house, Book?” she said. “When I think of it now, I feel like it misses us.”

I looked at her again. I had looked at her countless times already, but how many looks did I have left? We spent decades aging together, but she was still there, beyond the skin and bones. My love.

“Do you think there is going to be a home for us in heaven?” she asked. She knew what I thought of questions like that. I looked down on the lights of the city, the warm streets, the unseen lovers probably wandering aimlessly.

“Why do you take us out of here, Liz?” I asked softly, “Out of this moment? This beautiful place? You take us back in time. Or forward. Is here and now not good enough for you?”

She smiled and I felt warm. “Why did you fall in love with me?” she asked, “Was it God or Devil?”

I looked up at the stars, billions and billions of ancient furnaces digesting hydrogen to produce life-bearing elements, ready to spit them out into the swirl of events. I thought about all the still, unliving objects high above, frozen in the vast emptiness of space. And then I thought about the Earth below. Cities, people, generations to come, love to still come.

“Why does anyone do anything?” I asked. I really wanted to know. “There is very little time to figure that out. And most of it, we don’t even wonder. Not very hard, at least.”

“I don’t think that matters,” she said. “All that matters is we are here and now. It’s what you always say, right?”

“Yes,” I agreed, surprised by her taking on my point of view, “Yes, I do say that.”

I will figure it out. By and by.

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