This is the first picture I ever took of Jo. It was our fifth date, in October 2017.
Our first date was a few weeks earlier, when we met for a drink at Capital Grille near Wall Street. I thought she was pretty and smart. She was very nicely dressed, but with hardly any makeup or jewelry. So I knew she wasn't a phony.
Our second date was a walk in Greenwich Village, to the fountain at Washington Square Park.
Our third date was a walk in Central Park. She didn't want to go in the rowboats because she didn't know me well enough.
Our fourth "date" was a book reading at Lincoln Center. I casually mentioned that I was the headliner for the event, and she said, "Can I come?"
"Oh, you want to come?" I said innocently.
Our fifth date was hiking above the Hudson. I held her hand to help her climb up the rocks. That's where this picture was taken.
A year later, we were married.
I'm writing about this now because I post here less often than I used to. There's no good way to balance intimate thoughts and social media. But what's the value in non-intimate thoughts?
So I want to share an intimate thought: I want to say that everything is okay. Life is so unpredictable. Not just this weird pandemic. The whole thing. Love. Growing up. Growing older. It's like a screenplay that went off the rails in Act 2 but just keeps going. I don't know if it will have a happy ending. Well, we sort of know how it will end, generally speaking, and from that point of view it's hard for me to be elated about that. But before then. Pick a time. At what point do you say you've had a happy life? Or is it even necessary to say, since you'll probably just jinx it?
I'm madly in love with Jo. I'm so happy I found her.
She took a big leap of faith with me. It was a bigger leap for her than for me, and I'm grateful that she did.
We are hunkered down for now, like everyone else across the country--aside from the angry, maskless people storming their state capitols brandishing firearms and demanding their constitutional right to infect others. I'm happy to be hunkered down with her. I'm happy to be with her and have our lives intertwined, for better and for worse.
So everything is okay. I hope everything is okay with you.