The Place Where Hearts Go to Hold On Just A Little Longer

Three months. We were given three months to sink our roots into each other, deep enough until we knew that they would hold. But I’ve never known time to be a friend to anyone. Even when we hear the words, “You get more,” the relief swoops off and leaves us staring at a date on the calendar. For us, it was August 16.

I’m not a scientist. I couldn’t sit here and regurgitate how time and space and light all work to create a single day. Nor am I some sort of John Green who can explain how some infinities can fit into other infinities until you cry. But I did find the space in time where hearts go when they want to hold on just a little longer.

The water rose into a dome around his broad shoulders. I watched it ripple over the waves of his hair and over the subtle bulges of his arms. After 1 race, I was able to pick out his body type on the block before the buzzard even sounded. After 2, I could spot him mid race, rising and diving and rising again.

But now we were out in the Atlantic, and the Mexican sun was bronzing my skin while I plastered myself on the bed of a sailboat. We were only supposed to be out for thirty minutes, but he kept wanting to jump off and dive into the clear blue.

“The sand is so white,” he would say, and I’d imagine the nice man back at shore yelling at us in Spanish for being gone so long.

And then I heard his wet hand gripping the white plastic of the boat, pulling himself up and plopping himself down next to me for a fifth time.

“It’s too eery,” he said, “Let’s go back.”

The tricky part of sailing, I learned, is having to catch the wind that will take you back to the sand. You could pull all the ropes the right way, maneuver the fin in all directions, but you could go no where without the wind.

So we sat.
We sat there in this space of time where all at once– nothing happens. The place where hearts go to hold on a little longer.

We waited for the wind to come and curl through our sail, to take us back towards the sand, and yet we weren’t waiting for anything to happen at all.

It was me, and it was waves from other wakes smacking against our boat, and it was him. And he was beautiful.

You start doing things slower.
He starts waltzing with me on a dance floor at a bumping night club.
You start walking in the hot, sticky Mexican air even though you know you could easily just take a bus.
You sit at breakfast longer, taking more sips of your coffee.

Because then you hang there in this place that doesn’t quite exist, floating in silence and bliss. Oh God, no, you don’t talk. You don’t say a word about what you know is coming, about the way things are all about to change. And that’s hard. Because everything in you is going to scream, Tell him how much you’re going to miss him.” Because you don’t understand how you can sit there staring at him, watching the wind drying his curls, and neither be moving forward in time nor backward in time. You just sit. And you breath. And you stare. And nothing happens, but you know you’ve never been so thankful for that, so thankful for this say in how slowly the time will move.

This space, where hearts go to hold on a little longer– it became my favorite time of day.