It was understood that they shared the same thresholds--the same inexhaustible appetite for wasting time, for discussing lofty ideas, for dissecting trivial things, for driving to nowhere in particular, for listening to music, for talking about books, for obsessing over pop culture, but mostly for laughing, talking, and simply being together. There was nothing one could say that the other would find too cruel or too kind. And on those rare occasions when they did tire of each other, they needed only go a day without talking before they yearned to reconnect.
The crux of the problem was this: He was at once everything and nothing she needed. Seen from afar, they were picturesque, a symphony of superior genes, a study in storybook promise. But when they were alone together, they were curiously ill suited, sometimes mortifyingly lacking in secrets to share and things to talk about. But common wisdom condoned this, did it not? Was this not the basis of a great partnership: opposition, difference of opinion. Pairing up with someone as practical as she would be terribly boring, just as coupling Tom with another dreamer would result in incompetence; that pair would never make it out of the house. Both combinations would amount to deadening and impractical redundancy. But what if it was equally dangerous to pair up two people who were so different? Were they not signing up for a lifetime of silent dinners or, worse, after-dinner spats?
Technically, on the spectrum of very bad things, they did nothing truly wicked. But of course, that spectrum has no measure for the greatest of all carnal sins, the kind that occurs before skin touches skin, before wondering turns to yearning, yearning to having, having to holding for dear life, when two people cling to each other so desperately that even when they lie, inches apart, neither is fully satisfied until the light between them turns to darkness.