When we finally lay down, I said, “Look, we’re here, we’re happy, it’s a new year, let’s just …”
Lily sat up partway and looked at me. Her blemish-free face looked tired and sober all of a sudden, a bit how I picture the Greek Fates when I picture them—handsome, pristine, sadly knowing. “The thing is,” Lily said, “we could and I’m sure it would feel good. And it’s not like sex is any big deal. But we’re old enough now to know some things, to know what happens next, to know that we have sex and then we text and e-mail for a bit, and then you come visit me, or I come visit you, and we start to get a little excited and talk about the thing to our friends, and then we get a little bored because our friends don’t really care, and we remember that we live in different places and think, Who the fuck are we kidding?, and then we realize that we were always just a little bored, and the e-mails and text messages taper off, and the one of us who’s a bit more invested feels hurt and starts giving the whole thing more weight than it deserves—because these things become referendums on our lives, right?—and so we drift apart and the thought of the other person arouses a slight bitterness or guilt, depending on who’s who at this point, and when the topic of the other person comes up we grit our teeth and say, ‘Yeah, I know him,’ or, ‘Yeah, I know her’—and all that for a few fucks that aren’t even very good, because we’re drunk and hardly know each other and aren’t all that into it anyway.”
“We could get married,” I said.
“Don’t be cute,” Lily said. “I like you better when you’re not cute.”