Pasadena, California USA
1:00 a.m. Sunday Night
Him: Hey you.
Me: Whosat? Wassat?
Him: It's me.
Me: ...oh...oh...hey, hi.
Him: it's been a while, huh? Sorry I'm calling so late.
Me: ... 'snoproblem.
Him: so, I'm calling...because I love you.
Me: ..! [This sort of shock is like the reversal of cooked asparagus, where you drop it into the ice bath first, and then steam it. A much preferable sensation.]
Him: ...is that okay?
Me: Of course. Wow. I love you too. You know that, right?
Him: ...I had a hunch.
Me: well...thanks for telling me. [brusquely] You know what they say, ever too late to lov-
Him: [Interrupting] I thought about it earlier...but...actually, for a while. I didn't really know how to say it. I mean, it's not a hard thing to say, but it is, you know?
Me: ...absolutely. I appreciate it.
Him: well, there it is.
Me: there it is...wow...I'm speechless.
Him: heh, “wow” really?
Me: Well—I mean I can appreciate what it's been like coming to this point.
Him: Can you? I dunno, It's so easy for you to say.
Me: well, I really mean it when I say it, people don't think I do.
Him: oh I know you mean it...I know that.
Me: I mean it in a big way.
Him: I know you do. I do too. That's why I don't say it very much. I never say it, it sounds stupid when it's me. I say it to my parents, I guess. My family...but it's not the same thing at all. You're so full of love...I don't—what am I trying to say? I don't have a lot—well I do, but I don't spread it around. It's...kind of precious.
Me: sure—no—yeah, I know what you mean.
Him: I guess you would. It doesn't make it less important when you say it. I don't mean that. You're full of love.
Me: you think so?
Him: Yeah. I'm glad. I wish I was more like you.
Me: well...thank you. I make it look easy, it's not. It's not.
Him: Not always. Sometimes it is. It's easier now, I'm getting used to it. We'll just keep talking. I'm glad you're not freaking out. I'm glad I'm not freaking out.
Me: I can share—you can have a little of mine, you know? You can keep it. I love you. There you go. That's yours forever, trust me.
Him: Thanks...I do trust you...I love you too.
Me: I—It's really great to hear it. Thank you...so much...So much.
[Eventually the conversation drifts on to other, inconsequential things. We talk about nothing in particular for hours. In the end, he has to be the one to hang up; I never could do it.]