“He’s unfathomable.”

“Of course he is.” He made as if to light a cigarette, remembered the new anti-smoking law, and tossed his lighter back on the café table. “He’s another human being, of course he’s unfathomable.”

“Is this what being in a relationship is like?”

“What is it like, then?”

“It’s like we’re both planets and we’re merging. Merging oceans. Slowly, not colliding into each other, just his oceans merging into mine. I can see everything from the sky. And all the other people are stars far away. And we are joining ecosystems, becoming one giant ecosystem.”

“It’s not the most elegant description, but yeah. Accurate.” He smiled. He was encouraging, he cheered him on. You won’t need a best friend for long, he thought. I should find something, too, not a man, but maybe men. Or swimming. Or try to be a poet. Or travel. Find my own ecosystem to merge with.

His friend looked at him. Everything seemed further away, everything—ever since the relationship solidified—seemed to be amiably drifting away. There was so much space now.