​He leans forward with his body, asks questions, makes eye contact that is so intense and steady I have to look away again and again. Twice, we laugh, together. It’s real, spontaneous laughter and it moves the air around us—the air that has grown so stale—and I wish the kids were awake to hear it. It sounds like hope. And I understand that shared laughter is sacred because it’s proof that two people are right there at their surfaces with each other—they’ve come up for air together; neither has sunk away inside herself—both are right there, trying to touch. As we laugh I think, Is this space we’re in right now love? Are we in love right now? Can you only be in love with someone as often as you are fully present? How did we get here? Is it safe for me here?

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