You know that feeling, the one you get when it’s just you and whoever you’re with. Maybe the windows are rolled down and you’re driving. You may not be going anywhere in particular, but you can’t wait to get there. Every part of that trip is fun. Your smile makes your cheeks burn and reminds you of the laughing fits from your childhood, and you don’t want it to end. The beauty of these perfect days is you don’t even contemplate an ending. It’s as if your brain allows you a foot in the door of what could be with this person, a moment in the space between, without the lens of real life to blur your gaze.
In these particular instances, the feeling isn’t one of a great first date. Great first dates are epic but pale in comparison to the sweet harmony that imbues each interaction as you wonder. You revolve around one another like magnets of opposing poles, the frequency and steadiness of your conversation an even breath in and out. You aren’t giddy, because giddiness implies an unknown looming ahead. You’re just yourself during these moments. The person next to you already woven seamlessly into your rhythm, you both exist to the silent beat of a familiar tune.
Conversation is easy for you, but the silences are the real truth-tellers. You look to your right, snickering; you make a face and they laugh. You both welcome the journey, whatever it may bring. Perhaps you’re heading to dinner or walking home from work with this person. Maybe you’re meeting for breakfast. They notice the unfinished English muffin on your plate and take a bite without asking. It’s a familiarity so subtle it may not occur to you it’s there. Your legs brush one another’s under the table, but no one flinches. Your limbs are pieces of a puzzle you’ve done before, fitting in just the right way every time.
It’s not always perfect. You’re at work; the day wasn’t one of your best. Maybe you meet this person for a drink to wind down, but your distraction knocks the symbiosis of the interaction off balance. What matters in these moments isn’t the refraction of your feelings but how easily the space between you returns to equilibrium. You feel your shoulders relax and allow the feeling to bring you back to center. Without a word, you feel a hand slide into yours, causing a static pulse to trace the outline of your body. The space between you is electric and shocks you into the present.
How much time will you have in the space between? It could be just one day, an hour even, and for some they get a lifetime. You don’t think to bet on your timeline with this person because it isn’t even on your mind. The space between has no master clock on the wall; minutes last for hours and days can go by in an instant. You think for a moment about the person you see before you. A smile spreads across your face and you continue to hum a familiar tune you’ve never heard before.