For our first date, we went to the movies. Maybe we had dinner, too–I can’t remember. I think we decided not to after filling up on popcorn. I remember we saw a sort of political thriller starring Nicole Kidman. After looking it up, I can tell you it was The Interpreter. I do not remember the plot, but I remember sitting there with my arm on the armrest, my hand conveniently available to be held. It took forever for him to take the hint but eventually, he did. And then afterward, we went driving and talked. He knew some curvy roads in the country and he liked driving his manual transmission. Whenever a field mouse would run into the road, he would swerve to avoid it.
I don’t remember what we talked about, or how long we drove. It’s the field mice I remember most.
About a year ago, my husband sold his old car and bought a new one. I didn’t expect to, but I cried. When he put up the listing on Craigslist, when he got a response, when we waited for the prospective buyers to show up. I sat in the car for a while, trying to remember all the trips it took us on, all the miles, all the times I accidentally stalled its manual transmission. And I remembered, among many other things, the field mice: sitting in the car next to this sweet, sweet boy, who went out of his way to keep even the tiniest of creatures safe from harm.