It was so unbelievably quiet and dark that night we made love in the funny little hotel in the funny little town of Winthrop, Washington. I was used to city sex, always interrupted by the grating grumble of garbage trucks and drunken brawls, delivery men buzzing the wrong apartment and taxi cabs screeching through the intersection six flights down. The dark and the quiet were overwhelming in the way that they saturated the room -- sinking into our skin and seeping into all the words that could have been said between us, spiking the tears we were surprised to find on each others lips.
The next morning we got up early and headed back over the mountains toward the Pacific, leaving eastern Washington's dry summer heat behind us as we climbed higher and higher into the mountain passes. There was so much love still between us then, at least during that handful of days we overlapped before returning to our respective worlds -- he here in Anacortes, me to the ever-beckoning isle of Manhattan.
These last few months, almost two years on from that odd and lovely little road trip over the mountains and back, have been brutal for both of us. He said once, toward the end, that he felt like I always had all these ideas about us in my head. So many ideas, in fact, that I forgot he might have ideas, too. He said he sometimes felt like there wasn't room for him in the world I'd wanted us to build together. He wasn't really all that wrong, I suppose.
Later this summer he's probably going back to Winthrop with someone else -- a good friend of ours, a buddy of his, but still. They'll probably go to the places we went to: the pizza place that we walked to from our hotel along the river in the lengthening shadows and golden evening light; the bakery in Twisp so that we could try their famous (and rightfully so!) 'cinnamon twisps'; the power plant on the river with its beautiful surrounding forest gardens and cooling waterfall-induced breezes.
It's not that I'm jealous, exactly, but learning of their potential road trip sent such a pang of sadness through me that I had to go into myself, just sit and be quiet in the dark for a little while. I want so much to be going with them, to be driving through the mountains in his beat up old Subaru with these two people I love so much, with the windows rolled down and the radio playing and my feet propped up on the dashboard like before.