After a brief and cordial breakfast a couple of weeks ago to meet Sam's boyfriend, we haven't seen much of either of them. Nothing at all, actually, until today when they managed to coordinate a morning off together and I invited them for breakfast here, a risky but inevitable prospect, depending on the day.
Risky because you just never know when Lochlan is looking to have it out with someone or Caleb might be milling about randomly making people burst into flames. Sam's boyfriend is so very precious to him we are working on showing him our best sides.
Shut up. I'm really trying, for Sam's sake. Besides, I was excited to actually talk to the guy. Busy, noisy diners are not conducive to getting to know someone. This morning I got to know Matthew. Except he likes to be called Matt and he is so much like Sam the server at the diner had asked if they were brothers and I kept trying to see what was different.
Up close there are all sorts of small infractions that prevent a twins declaration. Namely, Matt is a bit of a clotheshorse. He appeared in a vintage mint-green dress shirt with pearl buttons and perfectly creased khaki pants. Slim leather belt, matching shoes and matching Coach laptop-manbag. Tortoiseshell glasses. Perfect hint of beard. Ben leaned way over and whispered in my ear as they were hanging up their coats that he had no idea hipsters were viable life partners and I had to bite my tongue not to laugh at that. I poked him hard and he straightened up instantly.
Sam is so...not a clotheshorse. Sam is grad-student chic, which means he's still carting around a fraying messenger bag he bought in 1998 and he may or may not wear his jeans eleven or twelve days in a row just because they look okay (I think he got that from Ben, frankly). They are two sizes too big and he wears a belt that has a brass buckle with a map of Poland on it.
Sam has never been to Poland. He doesn't know anyone who has visited Poland either.
Don't get me wrong, Sam is adorable. But he's not one to iron. Or do laundry. Or buy anything that matches. He doesn't actually shop at all, to tell you the truth.
Matt and Ben were introduced proper and Matt made all the right impressions. He knew of Ben. He thanked both of us for having him over. He was so charming I wanted to go upstairs and kick Duncan and tell him that if he could do Matthew-charming, the world would be his oyster, but I kept my pointy toes to myself and discovered instead that Matt is a scientist. An environmental scientist.
Whatever that is.
I refrained from making Contact jokes the entire morning. Oh yes I did. (Science versus religion? Get it? Matt can be Jodie Foster, Sam can be Matthew McConaughawt).
Matt is too bright for my table, mostly dismissing work talk in favor of talking about everything else. We covered world travels, motorcycles, death and decay, home-baked versus store-bought, strikes and the weather. We took him down to show him the beach and the yacht club that's going in (because it's a behemoth and a mess and I don't want to call it anything else) and we introduced him to Dalton, who wandered through the kitchen in a t-shirt and boxer shorts with his face in a bowl of raisin bran around eleven, and we answered truthfully when he asked practiced, polite and incredibly objective questions about the collective. He was genuinely curious. I can tell the difference now.
Ben offered him a lifetime membership but remember Ben is absolutely incorrigible and a sucker for a cute boy.
Bridget, because there's a first for everything, left her charm upstairs in the bureau drawer and went for submissive and shy instead of whatever it is that I usually do that people complain about.
Then Matt started to talk about Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn and then I couldn't contain myself and chirped out a whole bunch of questions and learned that he listens to everything and is incredibly knowledgeable about all kinds of different music.
Then it all made perfect sense to me. Music. Shared love of most of the people I know. On a solid par with the fair and drawing pictures and cake. The holy quad of awesome, in my mind.
As I sat and watched them talk, without mistakenly forcing the attention to myself, without spellbinding them with my own charm, I saw something wonderful. They listened with admiration and pride as the other told a story or related some little moment. They touched each other often, holding hands, squeezing shoulders. They looked so at ease with each other that it made me jealous that they are developing a love free of protagonists, villains and strife. Free of drama. Free of grief and regret always tilting the balance the wrong way.
It made me profoundly sad and I got quieter still until Ben slid his chair back to the corner where I sat staring at my tea leaves wondering what they say because I don't speak tea, and he put his arm around me and asked if I felt okay. When I looked up at him, two ghosts stood behind him, one with concern and one with smugness for expressions and I nodded and said I was a little tired today. Matt took that the right way and made a move to leave. I didn't want them to leave. I wanted to stay right there in the chair and watch them interact with each other and the world around them and I wanted to write down how they did it so I could study and practice it later and maybe get it right. I wanted to film it so I could parrot it in the mirror and I wanted it to never ever end.
But since it was practically lunchtime and Sam had to go to work (he starts at noon on most Thursdays and works until eight or nine in the evening) and Matt had a dentist appointment scheduled for right after lunch to make the most of his day off, they made their departure, each planting a kiss on my cheek and shaking hands with Ben. Sam told me to get some sleep. He glared it, I should say, because he knows I am prone to the whims of the night. I dismissed his concern because it wasn't valid under the circumstances. We all promised to get together Sunday night for a little bit of jazz in the sanctuary, after the evening service wraps up. I am told Matt's collection of vinyl rivals some of my boys.
Then Matt and Sam looked at each other and they both said Ready? at the exact same time. They went through the door and Ben saw them safely out the drive, hit the button for the gate once they were clear in their truck and then he came inside grinning from ear to ear and we both said Awww at the same time and burst out laughing.
Days like today are worth sharing.