The next morning we took a day trip to Howth, about thirty minutes out from Dublin on the DART. When we arrived we caught the tail end of a rolling fog that slowly resolved into a cloudy afternoon. I had never seen a real lighthouse before, so Dr. A paid a local fisherman to ferry us five minutes across to the craggy island to walk around the rocky terrain covered in rhododendrons. These vines wove themselves in and out along the cliffs, following the same path we took up the formation. We were the only ones there except for a couple of sea lions, all hanging out on the edge of Ireland. I guess it wasn’t exactly tourist season.
I’m sure we looked absurd up there, wearing our matching Irish sweaters, me in my old Justin’s and Dr. A in his new Keen hiking boots, both covered in thin plastic ponchos. We’d found the latter at the train station, probably meant for tourists; even so, they were surprisingly effective at keeping out the cold. We wandered around slowly making our way up. Being alone together here made me feel as if we were the only ones left in the world. Eventually we sat down at the top near the lighthouse. Dr. A sat behind me and I leaned back into him. He wrapped his arms around me and clasped his hands beneath my sweater. He felt surprisingly warm, probably from all the hiking. There was nothing overtly sexual about it, although the implications were there.
“So how did we end up here?” Dr. A said.
It seemed to be as much a statement, as a question.
“I think sometimes when you let go, life takes you places you’d never have guessed. Alcohol and desire tend to speed that kind of thing along,” I said.
“I think the ability to let go is a luxury that comes easily when you’re young. As you get older, infinite possibility seems to get lost somewhere between responsibility and routine,” Dr. A said.
I leaned back to kiss him.
“Maybe that’s why we work so well together. I get you moving, while you keep me grounded,” I said.
We lay there together for a while, arms around each other, my head pressed against him. I listened to the waves lapping against the shore playing together in tandem with rise and fall of Dr. A’s chest. At that moment, I thought there was nowhere else I’d rather be.