Henry and I’ve been married one year, but we’ve been in love for at least 6000—back when dinosaurs and man roamed the earth together. When I’m trying to be romantic, I rest my chin on Henry’s collarbone and whisper our origin story. “Remember? When that pterodactyl stole your hat? When I chased him through the lava field, hiked up the plates of that stegosaurus…”
A one-year anniversary is extra special, so we’re trying to do it in the shower. We tried other places first. On the wingback chair, my horrible rug, the Ikea Bjorkudden table. Never the bed, though; Henry knows not to bother with the bed anymore. So three minutes ago, he picked me up like a sack of rocks, twisting a knot into his back, and plopped me down in the shower. It’s not going well. I’ve been standing in the same spot for too long. The water is pelting the back of my neck and hurting me like I didn’t know water could. I complain, so Henry toggles the head to massage. The water still stings, only now at a predictable pulse. I know when the pang is coming, and where it will hit, and I brace for it. I can’t focus. I can’t relax. And because of his knotted back, Henry is having trouble holding me up against the black-and-white checkered tile wall, which is what he needs to do. If this is going to work, Henry’s going to have to be the strong one.