24/7, 6 weeks/24 months

Tell me about the last two weeks but please don’t forget about the past two years. Tell me about your boyfriend and his yacht-sized ambitions and I’ll tell you about my year of celibacy. I wouldn’t mind if we stayed in bed all day and watched Grey’s Anatomy in our Airbnb.

It’s been two years since we’ve seen each other and this is our new normality. Together 24/7 for four to six weeks but only every two years.

It’s half travelling and half catching up – on a beach, by a lake, over a beer. About bitterness and boys and good friends and bad friends and weird adult things like careers and commitment and how we look different from when we met four years ago.

And it’s tense at times because you’re sassy and I’m snippy and it’s 34 degrees and we’ve been in the sun all day and we’ve gotten one good sleep in the past 3 weeks – so I think this is still an accomplishment (don’t you think?). But I’ll always apologize because I’ve got something called a guilty conscience and you’ll forget what I’m apologizing for by the time I say it.

Tell me about how happy you are. How things have really come together despite what you imagined your life would look like right now. Tell me about your family. The drama of a million and one relatives and I’ll tell you about the latest developments in my own. At some point you’ll get mad that I didn’t defend myself that one time with the same group of guys we’re always talking about and I’ll promise again that no, I’m not going to end up with any of them.

Let’s talk about how you feel the pressure adding up but you know you’re excited to take on these new responsibilities. Or about how half the people we meet while travelling are the same age as the kids you’re going to teach in school. Let’s talk about kids these days, and what they’re growing up with, and how the world is a scary and bizarre and beautiful place.

We’ll talk plans for 2024 over cheap wine and friends. How our lives will look by then. How we want our lives to look by then. We’ll joke about planned pregnancies and which one of our friends will get married first or have kids first. I’ll talk about your future engagement and you won’t deny the possibility and my heart is happy with that potential reality.

Several years ago we thought we might end up the same city. We imagined who we’d be dating and that maybe we’d live somewhere near each other. Now we’ve settled into distance and the excitement surrounding crossing oceans. We’ll tell everyone we meet about how we met that one time in Canada and now we’re meeting up every two years to travel and they’ll appreciate the story almost as much as we do. It’s a pretty good story, with a road trip through Slovenia and a “dip tour” through Croatia now added to it’s pages. Who’s crossing the ocean next?