It’s still summer, barely, and as the sun’s going down, there’s the slightest fall edge to the air. He’d met me after work, and we’d had a crêpe snack. We ordered one with strawberries and bananas and Nutella and ice cream and whipped cream, to-go, no less.

“If anyone ever questioned why we work, I think this is the answer,” he said, raising the container of deliciousness. It was exactly what I was thinking, and I made him give me another bite while we waited to cross the street.

We walked the Highline, finally, then wandered back across to Union Square.

“What do you normally do for Christmas?”

I’m not sure he would have asked if he’d known he’d get the hour-by-hour schedule, complete with guest lists, menus, and contingency plans.

“. . . and then I have one cup of coffee with milk and a slice of fruitcake, and then I go to bed. And I was thinking maybe the week between Christmas and New Year’s, you could come visit.”

Then I immediately apologized and backtracked and spun in circles because I’m still sort of getting used to this.

“You realize,” he told me, “that by the time you say these things, I’ve already thought them, right?”

And I’m pretty sure I had this idea in June and I’ve met his second cousins and do you realize that by Christmastime we will have been together eight months? His meeting my family makes sense.

It’s the scheduling that’s the issue.


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