One of the best memories I have with her is of these two consecutive nights in May 2018 when my dad had sold the house to my grandfather and I was living there alone while renovations were underway, my bed and desk relocated to the master bedroom.
R. came over that first night and with a six-pack of Lagunitas we shut off the light in the bathroom, ran a bath, and flipped on a deep blue light in the base of the tub. It looked ethereal. Creepy but romantic. I put Spotify on from my phone and we burned through my data listening to “God’s Plan” and “Okay Okay” and “So Long, Marianne” and “The Greatest Love of All”, over and over. Songs that all corresponded to some inside joke or story. Shared stuff. We splashed about in the water and washed and talked and turned the Jacuzzi jets on and off. Talked and talked and when we drank all of the Lagunitas we went into the Heineken my grandfather had stocked in the fridge for himself on the few days a week he’d come by and tend to renovations.
She drank her beer in long eager pulls and was always outta breath when she lowered the bottle. She sank to the bottom of the tub and covered her chest and asked me to take a photo of what she looked like below the surface. I still have the photo and it’s beautiful but I try not to look at it.
We got very drunk and after draining the tub and drying each other she tied her hair up in a bun and we staggered the ten steps to bed shortly before dawn and slept late, touching.
The following night she comes over and I immediately go run the bath while she orders a pizza and I forget which of us got out to grab it from the driver but I remember we had only one towel and it was so damp and battered we were basically just moving the water around when trying to dry ourselves.
We ate the pizza in the tub with the bubblejets rumbling against our legs and we listened to the same playlist as before. The overhead lights in our windowless bathroom were shut off again and the water glowing deep electric blue. The two of us looking like drunk smiling ghosts in some great empty midnight hall. The room around the tub was so black.
And we talked and talked.
I look back and make note of how little we had in common and it’s a heartwarming puzzle to remember all the things we wanted to tell each other.