After a night of games, cake, and wine, we snuggled up on the big couch, sharing an immense and cozy blanket. You leaned your heads on each other and closed your eyes, and I began to read aloud: “To Leon Werth…” Throughout the first few pages, I would occasionally glance at the two of you to gather your reactions or to show you the author’s drawings in the margins–though you had to forgive the poor chap, he had to give up a very promising career as a painter at the age of six.
Soon, when I looked to you for reactions, I noticed your eyelids half-closed. But you had such pleasant looks on your face, I continued to read on. By chapter ten, I think both of you had nodded off at different times, but I was not ready to stop yet. So you sat there, leaning against the couch and each other, dreaming of snow and Bailey’s, and of stars, roses, and blonde, curly-haired boys from space–what strange dreams those must have been!
Somewhere around chapter fifteen–the boy from space having concluded his preliminary travels–we decided we must call it a night. Whether it was midnight or one in the morning, I cannot recall, but it probably did not make much difference to us. We were sleepy and you two were dreading going out into the cold; time had little hold on our attention at the moment. Thinking of time is for the future, but, for us, the present moment was enough.
So we said our goodbyes through half-closed eyes and in voices that needed to suppress yawns. We promised to continue another night, and I’m sure we will, since that night is already a most-pleasant memory for me: a favorite book with favorite friends on a cold winter’s night, snuggled warmly together on a comfortable couch with good food and drink. Few things in life can compare to that.