I am sitting on the couch reading, was reading. I drowse in a drowsy sleepiness. I watch the fire snap and crackle and lick back and forth in the wood stove. It is warm. I watch the trees outside, their silhouettes rocking to the night breeze. And the cat naps on the rug close by to the flames. Sometimes he flicks his tail a bit, a very fuzzy tail. She is sitting with legs tucked, tucked under her and watching a show real low. Her hair falls like water on her shoulders and her hands are busy with some sort of hand craft. She knits something for someone. Something to give to connect us to someone by the thread of a gift. Or maybe it is for me. It is grey and a little yellow. I say, I think I’m going to go to bed. She looks up a little, replies, okay, I’m going to stay up for a bit longer. I stand up and stretch a bit. I pontificate, ponder, cognate, contemplate, and otherwise consider. I muse, when I was younger my brothers and I would try to hand stand-walk all the way around the couch. Did you ever make it, she says. I say, no, but it was fun and we also would try and spin around on a tile and land in the same spot. Hmmm, she says. I say, this one we did make and we would try and do twice around, which seemed easy, but never was.. I look at the fire for a bit. Then as I walk by her I bend down and lay a cheek on one of hers and lay my hand on her other cheek. We hold there for a moment. Then she lays her hand on my other cheek and we hold there in a lull full of hushed loving language. I say, well don’t stay up too long.

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