“What?” she said, pushing herself up on her elbows, “What are you talking about?”
“You. Us. Whatever this is.” He sighed. “I don’t have anything to offer. I’m not anything, I’m just here.”
“Look,” he said, “I don’t mean to get all weepy and introspective on you all of a sudden, but I just don’t see where we’re going, you know?”
“No, I don’t know. I was pretty happy with where we are now, actually, and not really all that concerned about where we’re going.”
“I’m a mouth, Kate. That’s all I am: a mouth. I have words.”
“And I appreciate you for the cunning linguist you are.”
“I’m trying to be serious.”
“So am I,” she said, “We have a good time together. Or anyway I do. Weepy and introspective as you are, I won’t speak for you.”
“What are you getting out of all this?”
“You mean besides the interesting conversations my cunning linguist offers me in bed?”
“Yes, yes, besides that.”
“I don’t know. A good time between the sheets. Not a great time,” she added, “but a good one.”
“And that’s it?”
“And that’s enough?”
“For me? For right now? Yes and yes.”
He turned and dangled his legs over the side of the bed.
“This is never going to be a marriage. It will probably never be a serious relationship. And because of that, I can’t help feeling but that we’re wasting our time together.”
She rolled her eyes and came to put her arms around his neck.
“Darling, you’re cute when you worry but you’ll be in an early grave if you keep this up. Where are you and I going to be in a hundred years?”
“Unless one of us stumbles upon the fountain of youth? Dead, I’d guess.”
“In a hundred years we’ll all be dead, so I don’t care about. In fifty years we’ll be old and shriveled up. I’m not living to prepare myself for that, I’m just living. And so I enjoy you and I like the things I enjoy.”
“Do you think I love you?”
She took her arms off of him and leaned back. He didn’t turn to look her in the face, knowing that an answer wouldn’t be given if he did.
“No,” she said finally, “No, I know you don’t. But I’m pretty good at not remembering it when I don’t want to.”
“But even knowing that–?
“It’s enough. This is enough. For you and me right now.”