It’s just after midnight, and if the moon isn’t quite full it’s so close to it that it’s not worth it to quibble. From our bedroom, I text my husband in his upstairs office/man-cave. “I’m bored,” I type. “Wanna make out?”
“I’m all sniffly,” he texts back. “Sniffly and blechy. It wouldn’t be fun for you.”
“True,” I respond. After a beat, I rapid fire another message. “Want some peppermint tea? Meet me in the kitchen in five minutes.”
“Sure,” he says.
I leave our bedroom, escorted by a posse of pooches who all want to do their nighttime business. I pause to fill our electric kettle and turn it on, and then I open the sliding door that leads to the back yard.
As the dogs rush past me into the moonlight night, a gust of wind washes over me. It isn’t particularly hot in the house – we don’t have heat or a/c running – but that blast of fresh air is as cooling, as invigorating as the salt spray I used to feel when we played on the jetty at Sandy Hook, or stood at the end of the Ocean Grove pier. It only lacks that salty, coastal tang, to be the perfect breeze.
My husband comes into the kitchen just as the kettle finishes boiling. “Pour the water, would you?” I ask him, and I hear him doing just that.
Me? I’m still standing in the doorway, drinking in the wind, watching the trees get tossed back and forth, listening to the different pitches of the jingling dog-tags on the animals and the metal wind chimes hanging inside the house, and out.
I feel his warmth as he comes to stand behind me. “Enjoying the wind?”
“I love this weather,” I tell him, even though he knows I live for storms and blustery days. “It’s going to be 85 tomorrow. I’m not ready for summer.”
“Ugh, me either.”
We stand there a while, and then he brings the dogs inside and beds them down, and I carry our mugs to the table. “Bring the honey, please?” I request, “And a little dish for our teabags?”
The sliding door remains open, just far enough that the wind can flirt with us, but the dogs who aren’t in bed can’t wander back out. (Max doesn’t like to come inside at night.)
Fuzzy and sit at the kitchen table, sipping peppermint tea and letting the wind keep us company while we chat about nothing for a few minutes. Then he gets up. “I left a program running,” he says. He takes his half-finished mug of tea with him, but he kisses me before he leaves.
As for me, I stay at the kitchen table, surrounded by the soft sounds of the night, spinning stories on my laptop.